What is a First-Generation Student?
A first-generation student—or “first-gen” for short—is someone whose parents did not complete a 4-year college or university degree, and who usually had little prior knowledge about how college works.
Being the first in your family to attend college is a major accomplishment, and we hope you are as proud of yourself as we are of you. Though the college experience can be new and exciting, we also know how intimidating it can be. College policies, expectations, and terminology—there’s a whole new world ahead of you, and it can be challenging to navigate it.
That’s why at EIU, we are committed to helping first-generation students thrive during their time in college. We want you to know that you’re not alone, and that we truly are all in for you.
This website provides resources and programs available specifically for first-generation students, including those built to help all students have a more successful college experience. We even have a glossary of college terms!
TRiO: Offers academic assistance to low-income students, first-generation students, and college students with disabilities.
Career Services: Offers personal career counseling, with resume workshops, mock interviews, connections to internships, and more.
Office of Inclusion and Academic Engagement (OIAE): Provides programs that heighten the awareness, presence, and success of minority students and other under-represented groups.
The Writing Center: Helps students with writing assignments for any class at any stage of the writing process.
Student Success Center: Provides programs and services to empower students and connect them with the resources they need to achieve both academic and personal goals.
Center for Student Innovation (CSI): Provides laptop computers, webcams, and other technology to aid students.
Alpha Alpha Alpha Honor Society: Provides mentoring from first-generation students, as well as faculty, staff, and alumni who were first-generation students.
Health Education Resource Center (HERC): Serves as a resource for students, faculty, and staff by providing programs, campaigns, interventions, and one-on-one consultations regarding health-related topics.
Counseling Clinic: Helps to enhance psychological/emotional health, as well as promote the overall wellness of the campus student community through education, outreach, counseling services, consultation, and crisis services.
EIU Campus Food Pantry: Supports students who may not have access to affordable, nutritious food.