First Generation Students


First Generation graphic

What does it mean to be a first generation student?

At Viterbo, we identify you to be first generation if neither of your parents graduated with a bachelor's degree.


I am First Gen

See which faculty and staff are also First Gen! Content is updated periodically, so swing by the bulletin board in the hallway outside the ARC to see who's featured this time!

FIrst Gen Celebration 2018


Celebration of First Gen writing prompt

Viterbo's Celebration

How does being a first generation student impact you?

Each student responds differently, but some common challenges include:

  • Not knowing options for financing your education.
  • Having pressure to succeed; do more than what your mom and dad were able to achieve.
  • Finding activities that will help you get involved beyond the classroom.
  • Feeling different from family members because of higher educational experiences.
  • Having trouble fitting in. NPR Blog "Fitting In on Campus: Challenges for First-Generation Students"
Each fall Student Support Services (SSS/TRIO) hosts a panel discussion for new students, where our continuing first generation SSS students share their experiences about transitioning to college.

Below are videos showcasing success stories of our students. They shared stories of their challenges and successes of being a first generation college student.

FileQuestion #1: What did coming to college mean to you?

FileQuestion #2: What was the transition to Viterbo like for you?
FileQuestion #3: What was an obstacle you faced and how did you resolve it?
FileQuestion #4: How were your relationships with family and friends affected?
File Question #5: What advice do you have for the audience?
Question #6: What prior experiences unexpectedly helped while at college?

Are you a first-generation student but not part of Student Support Services? Visit our SSS page to learn how you can join.


First Gen word bubble