What does First-Gen Mean?

While there is more nuance in this categorization, we loosely define any individual who does not have a parent or guardian that has completed a four-year degree as a first-generation student.

For CARC programming, we welcome all 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.

What does Low-Income mean?

As defined by the U.S. Department of Education, the term "low-income" applies to an individual whose household's taxable income for the preceding year did not exceed 150% of the poverty line. 

The CARC welcomes any individual who has had any social class experience with being low-income, working class, etc. previously or currently. We recognize that social class is not a fixed identity and that we experience and perceive the social and financial barriers that come with our income background differently.  

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 Class & Access Resource Center. 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. 

Fall FLIng

Fall semester (annual) 

A fun and celebratory gathering historically held at the Book & Plow Farm for all first generation and/or low-income (FLI) students, staff and faculty. Activities can include lawn games, kickball, and pumpkin painting. Snacks and refreshements served!

FLI Week

November 8 is National First Generation Day of Celebration. Join the Class & Access Resource Center for a week of programming highlighting the FLI community at Amherst. The week holds plenty of exciting events for community building with fellow FLI students, staff, and faculty. Participate in community-centered, educational, and resource-building workshops throughout the week to deepen your connection to your FLI identity. The festivities of this week is open for anyone who is curious to learn more!   

Check out what we did in 2022!


Meiklejohn Fellows Program

Many first-generation and/or low-income students qualify to participate in the Meiklejohn Fellows Program which provides FLI students with career-preparation support and advising. Amherst College's first generation and/or low-income (including international, undocumented and DACA, and transfer) students have access to a $5000 stipend which can be applied towards an unpaid internship during the summers after their freshmen and sophomore years at Amherst.

Meiklejohn Fellows Program (MJ) Ambassadors

For FLI students in the Meiklejohn Fellows Program, they have access to and can connect with MJ Ambassadors -- who serve the crucial role in assisting the Loeb Center with providing and co-creating career resources, programming, and support for Meiklejohn Fellows. MJ Ambassadors are sophomores, juniors, and seniors who have experience navigating the internship and career exploration space as FLI students and is committed to mentoring other FLI students as they begin their career journeys.

Meiklejohn Fellows Graduation Celebration 

Date for Spring 2024 TBD

A celebratory event for graduating first gen students and families during commencement weekend. All graduating FLI seniors will receive a medallion and be honored during this special ceremony. Dinner and drinks provided!

See photos from the 2023 Meiklejohn Fellows Graduation Celebration

woman with curly brown hair and smile in black blazer

Questions about the Meiklejohn Fellows Program? 

Contact Sherry Gomez, Assistant Director for Early Career Exploration at shgomez@amherst.edu 

Other Connections

Connect with QuestBridge at Amherst College. Your place for connecting with FLI peers and accessing helpful resources at Amherst College ⭐

Contact the e-board at amherst.chapter@questbridge.org or check out their instagram page.