Office of Student Life


Factors That Increase Suicide Risk with First Generation Students

  • Economic precarity and financial concerns 
  • Isolation and loneliness on campus 
  • Stigma 
  • Lack of support from family and friends 
  • Shame, especially feelings of being an “imposter” at college


Population Highlights 
  • 90% of low-income, first-generation students do not graduate within 6 years.
  • Students who used mentoring and coaching services were 10-15% more likely to go on to another year of college
  • 15% of first-gen grads reported having zero influential relationships with faculty or staff during college, and the lack of mentors disproportionately affects minority students.
  • 25% of white and Asian-American students are first-gen students
  • 41% of black students are first-gen students
  • 61% of Latino students are first generation students within 3 years compared to only 14% of continuing generation students
  • As of academic year 2015-16, 56% of undergraduates nationally were first-generation college students (neither parent had a bachelor’s degree), and 59% of these students were also the first sibling in their family to go to college.
  • In their first year in postsecondary education, a higher percentage of first-generation than continuing-generation students used financial aid services, but lower percentages used health, academic advising, and academic support services.
First Generation Resources