Skip to main content area Skip to main navigation Skip to institutional navigation Skip to footer

O’Brien Center for Student Success

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

Approximately 40% of Merrimack students are self-identified first generation. As a first generation college student, you may experience challenges; but you are also a resilient and successful group. Advisors, faculty, and other G-1 peers can be instrumental in your success if you take advantage of the support available.

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: