As UT Austin prepares to again host its First-Generation College Celebration Week starting Nov. 7 and honoring our vast community of students whose parents or guardians did not receive a four-year degree or higher from a college or university in the United States, we recognize the extraordinary people, programs and milestones that make this community so special on the Forty Acres. Here are some fast facts to keep you up to speed:
1. There are more first-generation Longhorns on the Forty Acres than ever before
As of fall 2021, the university has enrolled a record number of students in first-generation and historically underrepresented groups. Enrollment of first-generation undergraduate students rose from 9,122 to 9,387, making up 23% of all undergraduates. Also, the four-year graduation rate for first-generation undergraduate students rose from 58.7% to 64.2%.
2. UT offers a residential First-Generation Living Learning Community
New, first-time-in-college students can apply to live in Jester West Residence Hall with a group of fellow first-generation students, whom they will meet and study with regularly. They’ll also be matched with a faculty or staff mentor who identifies as first-generation and be invited to exclusive events and presentations by guest speakers.
3. First-Gen Equity offers free, whole-person developmental services year-round
First-generation students interested in academic coaching — whether it’s focused on college transitioning, success or STEM-specific subjects — can find mentors and make appointments. UT’s First-Gen Equity program also hosts community-building events, including the First-Gen Equity Welcome Event every fall, an annual First-Gen Tailgate and monthly workshops on a wide variety of topics, including study skills, scholarships, moving off campus, and self-care and mental health.
4. Every spring, we celebrate First-Gen Longhorn Graduation
We understand how enormous of an accomplishment it is to be the first in your family to graduate, which is why we award first-generation students with a special stole at this ceremony.