First-generation College Students

Welcome First Generation College Students!

While going off to college can be challenging for all students, it takes extra courage and determination to be a first-generation student. At NIU, you're not alone: more than half of our undergraduate students are among the first generation in their family to attend a four-year college.

Our resources will help you get what you need to lead the life you want today and after graduation. We're here to help you open doors and connect with our community of first-generation students, as well as faculty and staff who will support and encourage you throughout your journey.

We welcome you to learn more about the helpful programs and services we offer. You can also join our support group, Breaking Barriers

Paying for College

Our advisors in the Student Financial Advising Services can help you understand your options for affording college.

Contact the Office of the Bursar for information on paying your bill.

First-generation Huskie Spotlights

Aaron Dennis

As a first-generation college student, it's important to me to show my family members that with hard work and dedication, all of us could achieve a degree while working full time.

Aaron Dennis
First-generation student,
Electrical engineering major
Andrea Carranza

A college education is important to me because I am first-generation student. My parents are immigrants in this country, and I have witnessed them overwork themselves to provide for my family. The least I could do to repay them is to show them that all their sacrifices have been worth something.

Andrea Carranza
First-generation student,
Mathematical sciences, world languages and cultures double major 
Mckayla Fitzpatrick

As a first-generation student, a college education is extremely important to me. I view it as an opportunity to make my family proud and showcase my dedication to education. Additionally, I aspire to establish myself as a driven and accomplished businesswoman.

Back to top