/ Student Development

First-Generation Students

I'm first.

I'm First logoYou are exceptional, not an exception.

Being first gen means that your parents or legal guardians did not complete a bachelor’s degree, and this describes 15% of all Hope College students. It also means that you are particularly well suited to succeed at Hope College. Among other things, first-gen students often:

  • Are proud to be in college
  • Are independent
  • Have family members who taught them the value of hard work
  • Are resilient
  • Have an ability to “figure things out”
  • Are focused and goal-oriented
  • Are adept at problem solving


The Mission of 1GenHope is to create an environment that helps first-generation college students thrive at Hope College. Through intentional programs, students will build connections, receive pivotal information about campus resources, and celebrate what it means to be 1Gen. 



To create intentional space for peer-to-peer interaction to process shared experiences and be the bridge between First Gen students, faculty and staff.


To inform students about resources for success and to create advocates for 1Gen students in the Hope College community.

To inform First Gen students about campus resources in order to ease their transition to and from Hope College.


To celebrate and acknowledge the experiences and accomplishments of First Gen students at Hope College.

“You’re like us. You’re the first in your family to go to college. You’re a trailblazer, stepping into new territory. There can be a lot of pressure and a lot of unknowns about being first. We’ve been there, and we know it’s not easy. But we’ve also come out the other side, and we know you can do it too. We’re here to help.”