We hope you join us for one (or all) of the National First Generation Day festivities. This celebration is open to all students and their families, faculty and staff.

Learn more about National First Generation College Celebration

Questions? Email us>>


FIRST GEN FAM AT BGSU | 9 - 11 a.m. | Union Lobby Tables | First-generation students at BGSU are invited to stop by the tables in the union lobby. Meet other first-generation students, faculty and staff. Pick up your 1st GENFAM button and learn about events occurring on Nov. 8 for everyone to enjoy.

FIRST GEN FAMILY PHOTO | Noon | Union Oval | We consider you family. Join other first-generation college students, faculty and staff for our annual First Gen Family photo. 

FIRST GEN PANEL DISCUSSION | 1 - 2 p.m. | 113 Olscamp | Faculty, advisors and staff are invited to this session. We will discuss ways you can assist ans support first-generation college students and their families.

First Generation Family

We hope you join us for National First Generation Day. This celebration is open to all students and their families, faculty and staff.

The BGSU First Generation Family is made up of students, staff, and faculty who are the first in their family to attend college and complete a four-year degree. The 1st Gen Fam provides opportunities for connection and support through mentorship, workshops, cultural programs and social events.  

Who is a First Generation Student?

A student whose parent(s) have not earned a Bachelor's Degree.

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Generation Falcon Summer Program

Generation Falcon is a free summer program, bringing first-generation college students back to campus early. Generation Falcon starts with move-in followed by a lunch for students and their parents/families. Parents/families and students then separate for educational sessions. This program is free to students who enroll. Space is limited.

Generation Falcon

Multicultural Summer Link

Multicultural Summer Link is exactly that, a link program. MSL brings students back to campus prior to regular move-in. The program is geared toward first-year students of color. While not exclusive to first-generation college students, this program is beneficial and many students who participate are in-deed first-generation students.

Multicultural Summer Link

Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program

Housed under TRIO Programs, the McNair Scholars Program is for first-generation, low-income students -or- students who are from a group underrepresented at the doctoral level (African-American, Latino-American or Native American). The McNair Scholars Program encourages students to pursue graduate studies by providing opportunities to define goals, engage in research and develop the skills and student/faculty mentor relationships critical to success at the doctoral level.

Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program

TRIO Programs

The TRIO Programs Office at Bowling Green State University comprises several educational outreach and academic enrichment programs designed to motivate and assist students to enter and succeed in higher education. Our target populations are students who are first-generation students who come from families with limited income.  Participants are selected according to their potential for academic success.

TRIO Programs



BGSU offers a variety of offices, services, and resources to help students and parents with navigating the college journey. Here are a few you might want to consider with links to more information. 


Academic AdvisingMeeting with your academic advisor is key to your success in college. This page can help you locate your advisor, register for classes, and much more.

Falcon ForwardA series of online modules and resources that can teach you skills necessary to succeed in college. Topics include academic advising, learning commons, course registration and financial aid.

The Learning CommonsThe learning commons is located in Jerome Library. They offer tutoring, study groups, writing review, and many other academic support services.


BGSU Scholarship DatabaseBGSU awards more than $30 million dollars in scholarships annually. This database allows you to search for ones you might be eligible for.

Office of the BursarThis office deals with student bills and accounts. If you have questions about your bill, the Office of the Bursar should be able to provide you with guidance.

Office of Financial AidThe Office of Financial Aid can help students and families develop a plan to pay for college.

Parent & Family

Parent & Family Programs – Parent and Family programs is the main umbrella for all support service for parents and families.

Residence Life’s Parent & Family This page provides information to help parents and families navigate the challenges students might experience living in the residence halls.


There are many reasons why an individual would or should decide to attend college. An individual may enjoy education. Someone may wish to go to college for the enjoyment of learning or to meet new people. Other reasons may include increased earning potential or greater job opportunities. The U.S. Department of labor statistics indicated that in 2017 the unemployment rate for those individuals with a high school diploma was 6.5%, and those with a Bachelor’s degree was 2.5%1. A study title The College Payoff by Georgetown University indicates that “A Bachelor’s degree is worth $2.8 million on average over a lifetime.”2

  1. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Populations Survey
  2. Georgetown University, The College Payoff

This question is not unique to first-generation college students. Many families wonder how they will pay for or finance a college degree. If that is you, don’t worry, there are people at BGSU who want to help you navigate this question. The first place to start with the Office of Financial Aid. They can help you complete the FAFSA, identify student and parent loans, locate grants and scholarships, and even develop a payment plan if required.

Office of Financial Aid

A 2011 article in the Chronicle of Higher Education titled "7 in 10 Students Have Skipped Buying a Textbook Because of Its Cost, Survey Finds", the author states "according to a study done by CollegeBoard, a student spends roughly $1,300 a year on textbooks." So, the question becomes what is the best, most cost effective option for students? Here are a few options.

Find Your Textbooks
You can go to textbook resource page to learn more about affordable options for obtaining your textbooks for class. This website provides students with a search function for class sections. Here you can choose a term, department and find what texts are required. The search also provides purchase, rental, course and section/instructor. Once you click search, you will be given a list of new and used books. Purchase options for those books including buying, renting and digital versions. This is probably the easiest option for BGSU students to find, purchase and rent textbooks.

Book Purchase & Rental Options
There are several options available to purchase or rent your books. has a full site dedicated to the purchase and rental of textbooks. Another site where students can purchase and rent textbooks is

Borrowing Textbooks
One way to borrow a textbook is to identify someone who has taken the class before you. They may be willing to let to you borrow a book they purchased for a semester. One of the best ways to do this is by joining the BGSU Facebook Groups for students. Students post books they are selling or looking for in these groups.

This is a question that many students ask when they attend college. This is a personal choice that one has to make. However, working a full time job and taking a full course load (12-18 credits) will likely prove to be a challenge. Many professors say that you should plan to spend 2-3 hours studying for each credit you are taking. This is in addition to time spent in the class room. If you are taking 12 credits and you spend 2 hours per credit, you will be spending 24 hours in addition to class time. You can see the challenge this presents. As such, you may want to consider finding an on campus job. The best place to start is with the Office of Student Employment Services. You can use their Handshake Service which provides postings to many job opportunities both on and off campus. You may want to check your financial aid package to see if you are eligible for Federal Work Study. If you are, the Office of Student Employment services may be able to assist you. Also, remember that many other offices on campus employee students to work from 8 to 28 hours a week on campus. Two of the larger employers on campus are the Office of Residence Life and Dining Services.


During the 2016-17 school year, a committee was formed to work on supporting first-generation college students. This group has worked to better define what it means to be first-generation at BGSU. The group has also engaged in promotions around support services available to BGSU students. All of this work is done to assure that staff know how to best serve first-generation students and to help first-generation students succeed at BGSU. If you have any questions or need more resources, the following staff members would be happy to point you in the right direction.

Vicki Ampiaw

TRIO Programs

Rachel Bensink

Undergraduate Academic and Advising Services

Kim Brooks

Undergraduate Education

Brittany Krisanda

Office of Residence Life

Ian Lee

Student Support Services

Donna Nelson-Beene

BG Perspectives

Kristin Payne

Thompson Scholars Program

Cyndie Roberts

Undergraduate Academic and Advising Services

Tim Shaal

Office of Residence Life

Rachel Standinger

Todd Waggoner

College of Technology


A worker with a Bachelor's degree will earn $2.3 million over a lifetime.

A Master's degree holder earns $2.7 million over a lifetime.


  • 22.9% of all incoming first-year students were part of the 1st Gen Fam.
  • 22.86% of 1st Gen Fam students are a part of a Student Organization.
  • 22.34% of 1st Gen Fam students are a part of a Sport Club.
  • 6.7% of 1st Gen Fam students are a part of a Fraternity or Sorority.
  • 86.6% of 1st Gen Fam students persisted from Fall to Spring.

I’m First!, an initiative of Strive for College, is an online community celebrating first-generation college students.  Check out