Parents of First Generation Students

Having your child be the first one in your family to go to college is a huge accomplishment and something to be very proud of. Being the first person in a family to attend college (“first-generation” college student) is certainly exciting; however, there may also be some challenges when it comes to transitioning to college life. Some first-generation students may feel confused or “out of place." If your student indicated they are feeling this way or experiencing other challenges, please reassure your student that they have worked hard to be where they are today. Additionally, please encourage your student to connect with one of his or her faculty members, staff, or another peer to seek out on-campus resources.


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Michigan State University applauds all first-generation students, their parents, and families for their accomplishments in getting to college. As a parent of a first-generation student, you too may be facing some unique challenges. You may feel unsure of what the college experience is like or how you can best support your student. If so, please feel free to visit the Michigan State University campus to get a feel for the type of experience your student is having. Additionally, please use this website as resource to familiarize yourself with various aspects of the MSU experience. As parents and family members, you play a vital role in your student’s experience and we want you to have the resources necessary to feel you can best support your student in their college endeavors.

More information and resources for first-generation students and their families can be found at the MSU Office of Supportive Services website: For more than 50 years, the Office of Supportive Services has assisted students throughout their collegiate careers here at MSU.