First Generation Student Success

First generation students are a significant and essential part of our community at Northwestern!

When neither parent has finished a Bachelor’s degree, Northwestern intentionally supports first generation students and families with their questions, campus resources, and encouragement along the way.

First generation students are paving a way for a new education and career journey. We honor and celebrate the courage and perseverance it takes to pursue a college degree. 

Welcoming students of diverse life experiences is a key part of our roles as the body of Christ, where our unique strengths all come together. National organizations recognize the importance for first generation college student support and success, including NASPA.

In 2022, around one-fourth of incoming Northwestern students were first generation. This is very similar to the college student population across the state of Minnesota. Across the USA, the number of students going to college as first generation is increasing, and already near one-third.

Within Northwestern’s Academic Achievement department, we place an emphasis on supporting and celebrating first generation students. We collaborate with colleagues across campus to help create a strong sense of belonging and nurture academic success. Our First Generation Student Success Program Manager reaches out to students as early as orientation and throughout their first year. Our program was established in 2023 based on research, and will be incorporating ongoing Northwestern student feedback.

Please contact us with ideas and questions, wherever you are at in your journey! Email [email protected]


Our First Generation Student Success Program partners with many offices across campus, intentionally working together to welcome and support first generation students! See below for some examples, and explore what they have to offer!