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UT News

Celebrating Our First-Gen Longhorns

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There are nearly 10,000 first-generation college students currently enrolled at The University of Texas at Austin – that’s one in four undergraduate students. This week, schools, colleges, departments and programs across the Forty Acres are hosting events and activities to celebrate this growing population of our student body, including a campus-wide First-Gen Day event on Nov. 8 that aligns with the national First-Generation College Celebration day.

This year, total first-generation undergraduate enrollment climbed to 9,915, comprising 23.4% of all undergraduates. UT enrolled 9,385 first-time, first-year undergraduate students this fall, surpassing last fall’s enrollment record of 9,109. Additionally, in the last 10 years, four-year undergraduate graduation rates among first-generation students has increased by over 25%, from 39.7% in 2013 to 66.1% in 2023.

The national First-Generation College Celebration is celebrated annually on Nov. 8 to commemorate the signing of the Higher Education Act of 1965 by U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson.

UT’s First-Gen Day is open to all first-generation Longhorns and supporters and will take place 4:30-6:30 on the Main Mall. For more events and resources for first-gen students, visit firstgeneration.utexas.edu.

Meet a Few of Our First-Gen Longhorns

Jennifer Graber, Professor, Department of Religious Studies

Michelle Shanks, Assistant Director, Longhorn Center for Academic Equity

Brad Love, Associate Professor, Stan Richards School of Advertising and Public Relations

Naomi T. Campa, Assistant Professor, Department of Classics

Aleigha Jalomo, Class of 2022, Advertising

Terrian Spurs, Class of 2022, Communication and Leadership

Ryan Hightower, Humanities Senior