First Generation College Students

As a first generation student you are among the first in your family to go to college. Being first gen is a point of accomplishment and pride! That said, we also recognize that being the first can be a challenge. 

The First Gen Program at the University of Michigan-Dearborn is designed to inform, connect, and celebrate first generation college students.

At UM-Dearborn, a first generation college student is defined as a student whose parent(s) or guardian(s) did not have the opportunity to complete a bachelor's degree.

UM-Dearborn is a First Gen Forward Campus

According to the website for Center for First-Generation Student Success, First-gen Forward is the nation's first recognition program acknowledging higher education institutions for their commitment to first-generation student success.

UM-Dearborn is proud to be part of the 2020-2021 First Gen Forward Cohort. We are proud to dedicate efforts to the success and recognition of First Generation Students on our campus. We are also proud to receive the Recognition of being a First Gen Forward Campus. 

First Gen Celebration Week

As part of our First Gen Forward Recognition, we put on First Gen Celebration Week, which is an annual week of programming around November 8th to celebrate, inform, connect, and support first generation students at UM-Dearborn. November 8th is National First-Generation Celebration Day and First Gen Programming on Campus creates a week of chocked full of programming such as the First Gen Ally Training or the First Gen Resource Fair.

First Gen News Articles!

Here are a few news articles which are written about our First Gen Community at the University of Michigan - Dearborn. 

The First Gen Student Org: Pushing Forward in a Pandemic

Written by campus leaders Brigit Bradakis, Brandon Queen, and Reem Omer, this blog post for the Center for First-Generation Student Success highlights the successes that the First Gen Student Org despite beginning as an organization during a pandemic. 

Read about the successes of the First Gen Student Org!

First Generation Students, in their own words

Four UM-Dearborn students get personal about the challenges and thrills of their first-gen college experiences.

Read about these four students experiences as first generations students

Celebrate First Gen Week at the University of Michigan - Dearborn

Written for the Center for First-Generation Student Success by Saulo Ortiz to highlight our First Gen Programming during First Gen week! 

Read about the amazing programming on campus for First Generation Students!

First Gen Student Org (FGSO)

The FGSO is a Sponsored Student Org with the mission of informing, connecting, supporting, and celebrating First-Generation Students as they navigate higher education. Learn more by visiting the organization's VictorsLink.

UM-Dearborn First Generation Endowed Scholarship

Donors, Drs. Bruce and Carol Whitaker
Donors, Drs. Bruce and Carol Whitaker
Drs. Bruce & Carol Whitaker

UM-Dearborn First Generation Endowed Scholarship provides tuition assistance to full-time sophomores enrolled at the University of Michigan-Dearborn whose parents did not have the opportunity to complete a bachelor's degree. The scholarship is awarded annually to student(s) with good academic standing who demonstrate substantial financial need. Students must apply online each winter and the amount of financial award(s) depends on funding availability. Completion of the FAFSA is required, as financial need is the primary consideration.

Thank you to Drs. Bruce and Carol Whitaker who established this scholarship to provide scholarship support in perpetuity. Bruce Whitaker graduated from the University of Michigan-Dearborn College of Business in 1968 with a BBA. Bruce, and his wife Carol, went on to receive their doctorate and taught at several colleges and universities.  The Whitaker's believe "Our University degrees opened many doors for us in our careers." They were first-generation college students and they hope to inspire other first-generation college students to complete their degree.  

To learn more about how to apply for this scholarship visit the current student scholarship page.

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