What does First-Gen Mean?

Any student who does not have a parent or guardian that has completed a four-year degree.

For CDSL programming, we welcome students to access our resources and services as there are many circumstances and complexities that could limit a student from receiving informed guidance from family about navigating higher education.

Annual Programs and Events

First-Generation Families Reception

Fall New Student Orientation

This session welcomes families of first generation students to the Amherst community and to celebrate this momentous occasion. There will be an opportunity to learn about the resources and networks to help you and your student as they begin their journey at Amherst.


First-Generation and/or Low-Income Student Reception

Fall New Student Orientation

A reception for first-generation and/or low-income students coordinated by QuestBridge, First Generation Association, and the Center for Diversity and Student Leadership. We hope you join us for an opportunity to connect with staff, faculty, and other students as we build community and develop networks of support that foster success for you at Amherst. 


Next Gen Leadership Insitute

Interterm - Coordinated by CDSL and the Loeb Career Center.

The Next Gen Leadership Insitute is a five-day program designed for first generation and/or low-income students to cultivate and highlight existing social and cultural capital in their personal and professional lives. As students navigate societal structures, such as higher education, it is important to provide the space to reconcile discomfort and belonging.

We hope to create an affirming space where students can learn to access and capitalize on the College's resources, acquire and integrate transferrable skills that prepare them for their future, and create a culture of peer support and knowledge-sharing.


Trailblazers Tent Dinner during Commencement Weekend

Commencement Weekend

A celebratory event for graduating first gen students and families during commencement weekend. A celebration for the momentous occasion and an opportunity to do it as a first-generation community.

Get Involved & Connected

First Generation Student Association - contact Ludia Ock and Genesis Pena, Co-Chairs at lock19@amherst.edu and gpena20@amherst.edu

QuestBridge - contact Natalie De Rosa, President/Liaison at nderosa21@amherst.edu