Skip to Main Content

Career Resources for First-Generation College Students

The Center for Career Exploration and Success values your identities and experiences. Being a first-generation college student is a big accomplishment! You’re right to view this identity as a source of strength and use it as an important motivator. Still, you may need additional guidance when navigating the academic and career landscape within Miami University and beyond. These resources illustrate opportunities for you to grow as a young professional.

Career Resources

Ohio/Regional Resources

Ohio Department of Higher EducationThis department manages state-funded financial aid programs and develops and advocates policies to maximize higher education’s contributions to the state and its citizens.

Ohio Career Development Association: The OCDA promotes career development and works to establish, improve, and maintain the standards of professional career guidance, counseling, and career services within Ohio.

National Resources

Center for First-Generation Student Success: This center aspires to be a transformational partner for higher education, first-generation college students, and all who care about them, working to maximize the success of this student population in education, career, and life.

CareerSpring: CareerSpring works to realize a future where everyfirst-generation and/or low-income (FGLI) student in the United States acquires meaningful, high-quality employment.

Rise First: Rise First’s mission is to empower first-generation and/or low-income (FGLI) students and professionals nationwide to achieve their full potential by providing life and career advice, lists of support resources, and mentorship opportunities through a technology platform with online tools. This platform is built for and by FGLI students, providing a real-life business and professional experience.

I’m First!: I’m First! provides students who lack a family history of higher education with inspiration, information, and support during their college journey. I’m First! is an initiative of UStrive, a national nonprofit that also runs an online college and career mentoring program by the same name.

MLT Ascend: A college success and career readiness program in which MLT alumni, called Rising Leaders, volunteer to coach first-generation and low-income college students. 

Additional Resources

Campus Resources

First-Generation Students: Miami’s First-Generation initiative seeks to build a community of first-generation college students and their allies while celebrating their resilience, tenacity, and achievements.

Affordable Miami: Miami University understands that college is one of the biggest investments a family can make. That is why it provides a high-quality education at a reasonable cost, making it a wise investment in a student’s future.

Career Advising: When you are admitted to Miami University, you are assigned a Career Advisor. This decision is based on your major and/or chosen Career Cluster. Your advisor offers individualized information and guidance during your career exploration and management.

Career Grants and Scholarships: The Center for Career Exploration and Success offers a variety of grants and scholarships to support students’ career growth, including the Internship and Research Grant, the Professional Attire Grant, and more. Note that availability of these grants can depend on campus. 

Miami Alumni AssociationAlumni networks organize networking events, publish newsletters about what graduates are doing, and connect graduates with each other for jobs. They’re great for current students, too, if you want information on graduate life or access to an older mentor who was once where you are. At Miami, you can connect with alumni through Miami Alumni Connect.


Miami Firsts: This student organization is open to any enrolled Miami student who identifies as first-generation and any enrolled Miami student who supports the ideas of the organization.

Student Success Center: The Student Success Center can provide assistance to a number of special student populations in solving complex problems, including first-generation college students. This center is the home for first-generation students on the Oxford campus, providing holistic support and connecting them to resources such as mentoring, career exploration, and financial aid. 


Fantastic FirstsThis student organization is open to any enrolled Miami student who identifies as first-generation and any enrolled Miami student who supports the ideas of the organization.

TRIO Student Support ServicesTRIO Student Support Services (SSS) is an educational support program funded by the United States Department of Education, whose goal is to help eligible students graduate on schedule with the lowest amount of financial debt.

Study Abroad Resources

AllAbroad.usThis website offers funding advice, outreach materials, and study abroad tips specifically written with first-generation students in mind.

Diversity AbroadThe Diversity Abroad community inspires, connects, and assists students in reaching their academic and career potential in our increasingly interconnected world.

Further Reading

A student signs the first-generation 1 sign during the National First-Generation College Student Celebration.

First-Gen Student Guide

This guide addresses some of the challenges first-generation college students face and includes information on paying for higher education, programs that can help, and what to keep in mind when applying to schools.
Three students show off their graduation caps at a commencement ceremony, with one reading "First Gen, Wow Dad We Made It."

Tips Every First-Gen Student Should Know

The Center for First-Generation Student Success outlines 10 tips and tricks every first-generation college student should know before they arrive on campus. 
Three students pose with the first-generation 1 sign during the National First-Generation College Student Celebration.

What to Know as a First-Gen Student

Being the first in your family to attend college is rewarding, but comes with challenges. U.S. News outlines how you can set yourself up for success.  


If you are experiencing issues accessing a resource on this page, please reach out to

Center for Career Exploration and Success

45 Armstrong Center
550 E. Spring Street
Oxford, OH 45056