Being the first or one of the first in a family to attend college is special and instills great pride within the student and family. We encourage students to remember that they have worked hard to get here and to make the most of this special time in their lives. We encourage parents/family to be proud and supportive of their students.

At the University of Rochester we want to remind first-generation college students* that anything and everything is possible.

*At the University of Rochester, a student is identified as a first-generation college student if neither parent/guardian obtained a bachelor’s degree.

For questions about this page, please contact Parent and Family Relations at urparents@rochester.edu or (585) 275-5415.

1st ONE Campus Campaign

Students, faculty, and staff can show support to first-generation college students by displaying 1st ONE decals/stickers. See the 1st ONE Campaign page for more information.

Students—CLIMB UP

All students need support and guidance. Here are some tips to help you “CLIMB UP” the academic ladder:

CHOOSE a major that’s the right fit, rather than something that sounds impressive or is what others expect of you.

LEARN how to prioritize school and manage your time, while also taking necessary mental breaks.

INQUIRE about support resources for underrepresented students like OMSA and the Kearns Center.

MEET regularly with your advisor to know important academic requirements and deadlines, and to stay on track for graduation.

BOND with fellow classmates and peers within your major.

UNDERSTAND the financial aid process and know the difference between loans, grants, and scholarships.

PARTICIPATE on campus by attending events and joining student organizations, clubs, and teams.

Parents and Families—BE PROUD

A college degree is a great accomplishment for any student! Here are some tips to help you better support your student.

BE PATIENT! This is a learning experience for both you and your student—you will be learning about this transition together.

EXPECT change, as college is a time of growth and discovery, but remember that pursuing higher education does not mean your student will lose the values you taught them.

PUSH your student to get involved on campus by attending events and joining student organizations, in addition to utilizing campus resources when experiencing academic, social, or emotional difficulties.

REMEMBER your student may not be able to visit home or communicate on the phone as much and they may not have the same amount of time to devote to family responsibilities as they did in the past.

ORGANIZE care packages and send goodies from home when possible. Some examples include a special note from mom, dad, and other loved ones, student’s favorite cookies, family pictures, and keepsakes.

USE campus resources when you have questions. 

DISCOVER the college process, especially the financial aspects, and learn about the University of Rochester more generally. This will help you become more familiar with what your student is experiencing.