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First Generation


The formal definition of a first-generation college student is a student whose parents did not complete a four-year college degree. At Emporia State University, we like to also include any student who may self-identify as not having knowledge of how to navigate college.

Help support first generation by donating to help with events, trips, getting t-shirts (provided to students for free), and much more!”


  • Networking with first-generation students, faculty, and alumni
  • Peer mentor program (PALS)
  • Community service opportunities
  • Programs and Events each semester

First Gen Events

Fall 2023

  • November 8 | Pizza and Peers: During Pizza and Peers, first-generation hosts a pizza party where students can enjoy a night of fun activities.
  • TBA | FAFSA night: While working alongside the staff in the financial aid office, we work on helping students complete their FAFSA as smoothly as possible and help them with any questions that they may have while filing the application. Done as soon as we can help assure that students do not have to worry about finishing it later than wanted.

Spring 2024

  • TBA | Cocoa and Conversations: First-Generation welcomes back students with an evening of hot cocoa and helping students returning to classes.
  • TBA | Doggie Dash: A annual event where first Gen works on creating a fun environment for the community to spend time with their furry friends!
  • TBA | Ad Astra: Every year, ESU, WSU, and FHSU alternate on who hosts the annual Ad Astra event where first-generation students and alumni share their journeys on how they overcame struggles as first-generation students.

Students celebrating during Welcome Week

Get back on track

We know many of you have been having a challenging semester. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, unsure of what to do next or generally lost we have created a page of links to help you get the answers you need. If you're always procrastinating, not going to class, scared of Canvas – the time is now to reach out.

Student Success

First Generation Videos

Learn what being a First-Generation student and faculty member means by watching our videos on YouTube.

Student at commencement

First Generation Student Resources

Find helpful resources designed just for First Generation College Students

Plumb Hall Aerial

First Generation Advisory Council

Meet the members

Advisory Council
Students talking during roundtable discussion

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to your questions as a first-generation college student

Frequently Asked Questions

Contact Information

First Gen:

Kathy Landwehr: