You are here

First-Generation Students

As a first-generation student, we are aware that you face unique challenges in applying, enrolling and succeeding in college. We are committed to supporting you socially, academically and financially — before you arrive on campus to graduation and beyond. 

Are you a first-generation college student? If neither of your parents graduated from a four-year college or university, you are a first-generation college student. This is still true if your siblings have completed their bachelor's degree at a four-year institution. Being a first-generation student is a very proud accomplishment! 

Two students jumping on the stairs of fenwick
Blaze the Trail for Your Family

First-generation students make up 17% of our student population. They are integral to our campus culture, contributing greatly to our diversity and intellectual life. 

Our commitment to educating first-generation students runs deep. Holy Cross is one of a select group of colleges that meet the full demonstrated financial need of students. In 2018, Holy Cross joined some of the nation’s top colleges and universities as part of the American Talent Initiative to substantially expand the number of talented lower-income and first-generation students at America’s undergraduate institutions with the highest graduation rates.

Student in commencement garb holding diploma
First-Generation Student

“Throughout my time on The Hill I strongly identified with my first-generation student identity. I was lucky enough to see the creation of HCF1RST Scholars, our very own first-generation student organization, come to life and provide students with the resources they didn’t know existed. The people at Holy Cross are some of the most unique you may ever meet, so don’t be afraid to go out and meet everyone because they can help you fulfill all your goals and aspirations.” — David Rodriguez '19, Italian and psychology double major 

student smiling
Numerous programs and resources are available to help make your time at Holy Cross a success.
students sitting in a faculty office
If you’re a faculty or staff member, learn about ways you can support first-generation students at Holy Cross.
students at ALANA event
In addition to serving first-generation alumni, the First-Gen Alumni Network guides and mentors current first-generation students.


For more information or questions contact us at