First-Generation Students

What's first gen? At Nazareth University, a student is identified as a first-generation college student if neither parent/guardian earned a bachelor's degree. If this is you, congratulations! Being the first member of your family to attend college is a big accomplishment and an exciting challenge.

You are not alone. At Nazareth, about one in 10 undergraduate students is first-generation. We look forward to supporting you throughout your college journey!

What's offered
  • Workshops and individual support to help you successfully transition into higher education and navigate college
  • Students have the opportunity to be paired with a first gen faculty or staff mentor through the First Gen Connect program
  • Student Employment Connections Initiative - select first year first gen students will have early access to apply for on-campus jobs
  • Community and sense of pride among first gen students through social events and Celebrate First Gen Student Day
  • Connections to appropriate resources on campus
Summer Start

First-year first-gen students have the opportunity to attend Summer Start — Participate in workshops to understand resources on campus and have social and cultural experiences to connect with peers and staff. Space is limited.

"Everyone really is here to help you."

Two students working to be the first in their family to complete a bachelor's degree say that Nazareth College provides great professors, intellectual challenge, a home away from home, a feeling of community, experiences abroad, a participation-driven culture, and inspiration and knowledge to make a difference in other people's lives.

As part of celebrating First-Generation Day at Nazareth, Tonya Guzman, director of Student Access and Achievement at Nazareth, interviewed Mariam Kamate and Ivy Dulysz, each in the room where they had their first college class — a time of "excitement and wonder," as Ivy put it.

Among their advice: Go after opportunities. Watch the video, above.

Arlene Lopez

“Your voice can make a change"

Student experience: College has been more than Arlene Lopez expected and has given her strong connections, including friendships with students and mentoring by staff and faculty.

Joycelyn Rivas

"Embrace the uncomfortable"

Student experience: Joycelyn Rivas, majored in psychology with a minor in neuropsychology >

Surrounded by Support

Nazareth staff and faculty — including some who are first-gen college grads themselves — are glad to be resources, including through a first-gen mentoring program. Read their First-gen Stories >

First to Fly logo
Logo badge: First-Gen Forward Institution

Recognized as a leader in first-gen education

The Center for First-generation Student Success honored Nazareth again in 2023 for demonstrating a continued commitment to improving experiences and advancing outcomes of first-generation college students.


of Naz first-year undergraduate students in fall 2023 are first-generation college students