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First-Generation Students

The Academic Achievement Center coordinates support programs and services for Ohio University’s first-generation college students. If you are a first-generation college student, we are excited to have you here! As one of the first in your family to attend college we recognize that you will face unique experiences as you begin this exciting journey. We look forward to supporting first-generation Bobcats!

First-generation students make up approximately one-third of our first-year class each year and are a sizable portion of our student body. We also have numerous faculty and staff who were first-generation college graduates.


What does "first-generation" mean?

There are many ways to define the term "first-generation." At Ohio University we consider students with no parent or guardian who has completed a bachelor’s degree to be first-generation. Our first-generation students may be the very first people in their families to attend a four-year university, or they may have older siblings who have attended college.

OHIO First Scholars is a program coordinated by first-generation college graduates who understand the unique experiences and strengths of first-generation students. It provides supplemental academic advising, 

Academic Coaching

Academic Coaching helps first-generation students navigate and succeed in the educational environment. Students can call on academic coaches, who are more experienced peers, for help in mastering goal setting, organization, managing assignment details, time management, finding helpful resources, and understanding the technology required to complete assignments. These one-on-one sessions are available at no cost and currently conducted via Microsoft Teams.


Find a mentor, or provide mentorship to a first-generation Bobcat through the Bobcat Network, a platform where alumni, students, faculty, and staff can engage in mentorship, networking, and professional development opportunities. This inclusive and supportive environment is a place for students to seek guidance; for alumni, faculty, and staff to provide guidance and coach students in their professional development; and for all members to learn from and inspire one another in a professional setting.

Supplemental Academic Advising

When you were admitted to Ohio University it was because we believe you can be successful here. Allen Advising helps students find the best path and make strategic decisions that guide them to graduation. If you would like to talk with an advisor about your academic options at Ohio University, please contact Allen Advising at 740-566-8888 or advising@ohio.edu. We provide guidance for students exploring academic options or seeking to improve academic outcomes.


OHIO First Scholars is committed to supporting the success, persistence, and engagement of Ohio University's first-generation college students by providing proactive outreach and support programs.

These programs address the challenges first-generation students may face as they acclimate to the university while also celebrating the unique strengths they bring to our campus.

OHIO First Scholars also serves as a resource on issues related to the success, persistence, and contributions of first-generation college students on our campus.


  • Create a visible and welcoming community of first-generation students, faculty, and staff at Ohio University.
  • Improve the academic success of first-year, first-generation students.
  • Increase the persistence of first-generation students from their first to second year.
  • Increase the academic and social integration of first-generation students.

Student Learning Outcomes

As a result of participation in the OHIO First Scholars program, first-year, first-generation college students at Ohio University will:

  • Know they are first-generation college students.
  • Recognize that there is a community of first-generation students, faculty, staff, and support resources at Ohio University.
  • Identify and utilize campus resources to support their academic success.
  • Identify and utilize campus resources to support their social integration.
  • Believe in their ability to succeed and belong at Ohio University.


Ohio University has been selected as a First-Gen Forward Advisory Institution by the Center for First-generation Student Success, an initiative of NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education and The Suder Foundation. The First Forward designation recognizes institutions of higher education who have demonstrated a commitment to improving experiences and advancing outcomes of first-generation college students. Selected institutions receive professional development, community-building experiences, and a first look at the Center’s research and resources. Advisory institutions serve as a resource to other institutions as well.

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