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.
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.
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!
“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
“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
"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