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Who are first-generation college students?

As a general rule, a first-generation college student comes from a family where neither of their parents/guardians gained a four-year degree. Additionally, students whose siblings went to college still classify as first-generation.

Why is it so important to support them?

Students who can gain a post-secondary education have more significant opportunities for better jobs, higher education, and significant contributions to their communities. At MSU Denver, we recognize the importance of diversity when it comes to the next generation of leaders and highly value our first-generation students for their contributions to the student body. 


Our Mission:

To increase retention and graduation rates of first-generation students. We achieve this by building community, serving as advocates, providing education on the first-generation experience, influencing university policies and practices to be more inclusive of the first-generation identity and, and developing meaningful programs and university initiatives that support first-generation students.


Leadership- First-generation students are resilient. They have overcome many obstacles to be in college; therefore, they are leaders.

Empowerment- First Generation students are paving the road for younger siblings, parents, friends, and future families. A college degree is life-changing, and there is pride in being the first to take this step forward.

Community- First Generation students are not alone. There is a big community of people who identify with them and or want to see first-generation students succeed.

Advocacy- First-generation students have unique experiences and intersecting identities. Universities should create policies, practices, and programs with first-generation students in mind. The goal is to increase education, awareness, and visibility of first-generation students.

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