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