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O’Brien Center for Career Development

Who is a first generation student?

At Merrimack, first generation (G-1) college students are those who will be the first in their families to graduate with a four-year college degree.

While all students need time to adjust, if you are the first in your family to attend college you may have additional obstacles to overcome.

Some characteristics of first-generation students are:
  • More likely to work full-time
  • More likely to feel general discomfort on campus
  • More likely to be older
  • Less likely to seek out the support of faculty and peers
  • Have a lower socioeconomic status
  • Have a family, and attend school part-time
  • More likely to commute to campus
  • Less involved in campus life
  • May feel guilty about attending college due to financial strain on the family.
  • More likely to feel academically underprepared
  • Less likely to connect with their non-first generation peers 

First Generation College Students Year by Year

Freshmen: As a first year student, Generation Merr1mack assists you every step of the way. Your Generation Merr1mack Mentor reaches out to you before you even get onto campus for your first day of classes.

Sophomore: Sophomores are matched with a faculty member who acts as a guide through the entire second year focusing on your development of leadership skills, narrowing interests and defining options for campus involvement.

Junior: As a junior, you are holistically supported towards becoming prepared through career and professional development. This is the year for you to really start networking and making connections and completing quality work to establish plans for senior year and beyond.

Senior: You have made it to your destination! Being the first in your family to graduate is a major accomplishment and Generation Merr1mack will work with you to make sure you stay on track and focused your senior year. The options for after graduation are truly up to you, let Generation Merr1mack & The O’Brien Center for Career Development help you make those difficult decisions with ease.

Are you a G-1 Student?

Participation in Generation Merr1mack is voluntary. Students who indicate G-1 status during the college application process are sent letters of invitation prior to the start of their first academic year. For upperclassmen who are considered to be first generation college students, contact us for opportunities to be a part of Generation Merr1mack. Please email us with any questions you may have: