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A young woman standing with her hands in her pockets on Oakland University's campus, with a rainbow and fountain behind her.

First Generation Students

Blaze the path to your new future by pursuing a college degree at Oakland University, where you’ll be supported, recognized and celebrated.

We know that being the first person in your family to attend college can be intimidating. At Oakland University, we make it a priority to connect first-generation college students to a variety of resources and initiatives to ensure a smooth transition and future success.

With free resources like financial aid information sessions (including assistance in filing your FAFSA) and a special scholarship for current OU students whose parents do not have a bachelor’s degree, you can fully prepare for your journey at Oakland University.

OU offers numerous resources, programs and services to help you acclimate to university life and all its expectations.

Academic Advising
Students receive academic advising services through the advising office within the school or college of their major. All new first-year students and undecided/re-deciding students are advised in the First Year Advising Center before moving on to a school/college advising unit.

For assistance with your academic and career goals, please visit the Academic Advising website where you’ll find information about Oakland University majors, minors and degree requirements. The Find my Adviser page will assist you in locating your adviser among the nine advising offices on campus, as well as connect you to your advising unit’s website.
Academic Coaching
Academic coaching helps first-generation students, particularly freshmen, with effective and research-based learning strategies. We want you to feel empowered to take ownership of your college journey, implement effective study methods and time management techniques, and balance academics and other interests.
Academic Empowerment Series
Enhance your understanding of study skills, and apply concepts and methods toward your success with our online, 10-module Academic Empowerment Series.
Academic Success Center
The  Academic Success Center offers free tutoring to all enrolled students. Drop-in tutoring is available for many of our courses, and appointment tutoring is offered for select subjects.
Center for Multicultural Initiatives
OU’s Center for Multicultural Initiatives provides support and advocacy for all students, particularly underrepresented students, and offers diverse programming, and cultural and social experiences for leadership and academic success.
Collegiate Communication: COM 1100
COM 1100 is a first-year seminar course proven to help you transition to OU and be successful.
Disability Support Services
Working with 500-600 students each semester, Disability Support Services acts as an advocate for students with disabilities. In addition to helping students understand university policies and practices, they assist in addressing personal and academic concerns.
Writing Center
The Oakland University Writing Center is open to OU students in all disciplines at any stage of the writing process. The center offers well-trained consultants who help both novice and expert writers explore ideas, revise drafts and develop the skills to craft polished works.

We’ve created several events to assist first-generation college students as they navigate the college admissions process.

  • First and Focused 1:1 Workshops: In these workshops, we discuss the key differences between high school and college, the admissions experience, affordability, college lingo, and tips for success. Attendees are provided additional resources to further prepare for the transition.

  • First and Focused Group Workshop: High school counselors and college influencers are welcome to complete this form to request a workshop at their school or organization. 

  • Academic Success Workshops: In partnership with OU faculty and campus partners, The Academic Success Center is facilitating a series of workshops focused on preparing students to be academically successful this fall. All are invited to attend and no sign-up is necessary!

Part of navigating college life is being able to understand what faculty, staff and other students are talking about when referring to your education. There are distinct terms used when describing processes, tools, resources and other necessary functions of OU. Check out our university lingo to help you feel prepared and confident!

Raneen Allos holding a First Generation Oakland University button.

“Being a first-generation college student is hard because you can’t always look to your family for guidance. However, the people I met at OU were the most supportive and encouraging family I could've asked for. They were there for me whenever I needed assistance, and this family mentality at OU is what helped me throughout the years."

Raneen Allos, Exercise Science, Class of 2020

Dana Cogshell wearing a First Generation Oakland University button.

“My advice for first-generation students is to trust yourself. It’s gonna be hard — you're gonna be challenged academically, mentally and emotionally. Trust and know that you deserve to be here. You worked hard, and you’ll work even harder because you are determined and prepared to succeed and reach your goals — you will shatter any doubts.”

Dana Cogshell, Human Resource Development, Class of 2021

Ernesto Duran-Gutierrez, holding a First Generation Oakland University button, posing with the Grizz bear mascot.

"Being a first-generation student is not only a privilege but a responsibility. I get to celebrate my family's history on campus, while using my platform to be there for future first-generation students."

Ernesto Duran-Gutierrez, Dance, Class of 2020

Undergraduate Admissions

Wilson Hall, Room 2000
371 Wilson Boulevard
Rochester, MI 48309-4486
(location map)
(248) 370-3360
Text: (248) 712-3361

Office Hours
M-F 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
M-F 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Make an appointment