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First-Generation Student Support

Welcome First-Gen Students

First-Gen Video

Proud to be First-Gen

What does it mean to be a First-Generation Student?

Being a first-generation student can mean different things to different people and different institutions. At Ferris State University, we use a modified version of the federal TRiO and Pell Grant definition which indicates First-Generation students come from families where neither of their parents completed a bachelor’s degree and/or students who identify as having minimal prior exposure to or knowledge of the university experience. 

We Are Here To Help

As a first generation college student you have the opportunity to have experiences all your own. You have the opportunity to build your education and envision the future you want. We are here to help you with your transition to Ferris State University, by providing all the resources and information you will need to know in one easy to navigate place.  

While First-Generation students are often academically skilled and eager to contribute in many ways to the campus community, navigating the tangled web of unfamiliar college policies, procedures, jargon, and expectations can be a challenge for any student. For this reason, Ferris will continue to make a concerted effort to break down these barriers and obstacles to student success. Ultimately, what we have realized is that regardless of how First-Generation is defined, the result of helping First-Generation students helps all students to be more successful.

First-Gen Wednesday Workshops

This workshop series covers a wide-range of resources, concepts, and strategies that will help you be successful as a First-Gen Student. All workshops take place on Zoom. Click the link below to join in during the workshop.

  •  Upcoming Workshops

    Study Abroad Opportunities

    March 24, 2 p.m.
    Presenters: Lisa A vonReichbauer, Dr. Piram Prakasam, and Megan Hauser Tran from the Office of International Education
    Zoom Link


    March 31, 11 a.m.
    Presenters: Joanie Hazelton, Associate Professor - Social Work
    Zoom Link

    Mental Health Wellness

    April 7, 3 p.m.
    Presenters: Dr. Mary Beaudry, Assistant Professor - School of Nursing
    Zoom Link

    Figuring Out Financial Aid

    April 14, 10 a.m.
    Presenters: Melanie Mulder, Coordinator and Advisor - Financial Aid Office
    Zoom Link

    Prepping for Final Exams

    April 21, 1 p.m.
    Presenters: Cindy Smith, Educational Counselor
    Zoom Link

First Forward

Center for First-Generation Student Success Logo

Ferris State University was selected as part of the Center for First Generation Student Success' inaugural (2019) cohort of First Forward institutions, sponsored by NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education and The Suder Foundation.

The First Forward designation recognizes institutions of higher education that have demonstrated a commitment to improving experiences and advancing outcomes of first-generation college students.

Ferris is excited to grow efforts to increase the recruitment, retention, and graduation of first generation college students.

Full list of the inaugural 2019-2020 First-Forward schools

Learn more about the Center for First-Generation Student Success