First-Generation Students

If this is your family's first time navigating the college process, this page is your hub for finding admissions information, financial aid help, and first-gen resources on campus!

Who is a first-generation student?

The definition of a first-generation college student can vary by institution, but it generally means that neither of your parents have obtained a four-year college degree. You're still considered first-gen if one or more of your siblings or extended family members have obtained bachelor's degrees.

Identifying yourself as a first-gen student can help you seek out essential resources and information in your journey through higher education. We're here to help empower you throughout the admissions and enrollment process.

24% of incoming UIUC students identified as first-generation in 2023

Admissions Help

Wherever you are in our admissions process, we're here to guide you through!

Help With Applying

Not sure how to begin your application? Finding yourself stuck halfway through? Head to our Help With Applying page for step-by-step guides to each part of the application process!

Find Answers

Help With Enrolling

If you've been admitted to UIUC, you can learn about your next steps to enroll through your personalized admitted checklist in myillini. You can also find more information about many of the steps on our blog!

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Financial Help

Wondering what options are available to you to finance your education? You can find tons of info about how to pay for college, including how to apply for financial aid, on our Help With Paying page. If you've already applied for and been awarded financial aid, you'll receive an email letting you know your financial aid notification is ready to view. Learn how to read your financial aid notification letter.

students pose with dog outside the Illini Union

First-Gen Forward Designation

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign has been named a first-gen forward institution by the Center for First-generation Student Success.

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Campus Resources

Check out UIUC's first-gen site to learn more about first-gen students at UIUC, including what events and campus resources are available to you. Our Counseling Center has also put together a Guide to University Life, a resource for first-generation students by first-generation students. Find outreach opportunities, read their newsletter, and more!