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First-Generation Students

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First-Generation students

Welcome to the University of Oklahoma's first-generation page, designed to aid students as they navigate the college admissions process and explore the resources and community awaiting them on our campus.

At OU, we define a first-generation student as “one whose parent(s)/legal guardian(s) have not completed a bachelor’s degree. Even if an older sibling is pursuing a bachelor's degree or has already earned their degree, you are still considered a first-generation student.”

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The University of Oklahoma has been recognized among 76 higher-education institutions as a member of the First Scholars Network, a national scaling model for first-generation education by the Center of First-Generation Student Success. OU was chosen based on our commitment to improving the college journey and advancing the futures and careers of our first-generation student population.

1 in 4

OU students of fall 2023 freshman class identified as a first-generation student.

First-Generation OU students

Alejandra Flores
Alejandra Flores

International and Area Studies, Class of 2023
From Allen, Texas 


"Being a first-generation student is not easy. You can have this mentality of imposter syndrome, where you think you don’t belong in spaces like this, but in reality, you are just as worthy as anyone else. I haven’t had anyone in my family do this before me. Don’t get discouraged or unmotivated, because there is a community here at OU that wants you to flourish and will support through all the good and bad."


Alejandra's Story


Adam El-Amoudi
Adam El-Amoudi

Biology, Class of 2023
From Guymon, Oklahoma


"Being a first-generation student is not always the easiest. There were many times of confusion throughout the college search, scholarships, and just navigating daily life. Luckily, I made strong friendships and connections at OU that helped me along the way. I would not change a single thing about my time at OU. I've learned how to love more intentionally, be a mentor for the people who come after me, and appreciate the here and now."


Adam's Story


Meet trail-blazing OU alum Miguel Chavez

Frequently asked questions

At OU, we define a first-generation student as “one whose parent(s)/legal guardian(s) have not completed a bachelor’s degree. Even if an older sibling is pursuing a bachelor's degree or has already earned their degree, you are still considered a first-generation student.”

Yes, being a first-generation student means that your parent(s) did not complete a degree, regardless of other family member’s level of education. 

Every student is assigned an OU Admissions Counselor based on your school, area of study, or country. Your admissions counselor is here to help you explore academic options and answer any application or post-admission questions you and your family have. Your Admissions Counselor is a great resource to reach out to during your college search journey!

Connect with your OU Admissions Counselor today!

If you want to learn more about OU, there are all kinds of options, but we recommend taking a tour of campus so you can picture yourself as a student at OU. Most walking tours last 2.5 hours, and is led by one of our distinguished OU student tour guides to learn about the incredible academic programs and involvement opportunities at OU. You will be able to see our state-of-the-art facilities, historic buildings, two residence hall options, and a few student hubs that showcase the OU community and spirit. Register for a campus visit today!

If you can't make it to Norman, you can also go on a virtual tour of campus

At OU, our student can choose whatever path interests them with over 170+ degree choices and 500+ student organizations to pick from. Being an OU student is whatever you make it, and whatever you do during your time here will become part of our collective legacy. To learn more about current student life, check out our Sooner Stories blog. 

Project Threshold is part of the OU TRIO Center

The TRIO Center at the University of Oklahoma seeks to become a local, regional, and national leader in empowering underserved students by addressing barriers to success and broadening access to post-secondary education, resulting in increased degree completion and career readiness pathways.

The TRIO Center’s mission is to support our participant’s growth and development by offering academic support, personal guidance, financial aid assistance, leadership opportunities, and multicultural experiences in a nurturing environment. We are a student-centered pillar of support committed to student success and graduation.

From Action Tutoring to the OU Writing Center to the Math Learning Center, OU has free tutoring and academic assistance for students across all majors. For instance, Action Tutoring covers over 90 subjects, OU Writing Center will assist you at any point in your writing process, and the Math Learning Center will help you in your gen-ed math courses.


You can schedule a 1:1 appointment with a current student to chat about their experience and life on campus! With a variety of competitive activities to participate in, dozens of events to attend, and hundreds of student organizations to choose from, it can be hard to narrow down your interests. Schedule your appointment!

Every student is different, and because of that, we gathered the thoughts of students across campus on what they chose to bring to campus on move-in day! Discover what you'll be packing for OU as a freshman student!

1 in 4 students of OU's 2023 freshman class identified as first-generation students! Learn more about our most recent freshman class profile!

Yes! Students can work 10-20 hours and earn $7.25-$10 per hour at an on-campus job. You must be enrolled during the semester for which you're seeking employment. Looking for an on-campus job that builds your professional skills? Students that have financial need may qualify for the Learn & Earn Student Jobs Program.

On-campus jobs for an upcoming semester are posted in the months leading up to the semester.

Connect With Us

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Contact Diversity Enrichment Programs

OU's Diversity Enrichment Programs is here to assist you with any questions you and your family may have throughout the admissions and enrollment process. Contact us by email at, phone at 405-325-2151, or text at 405-400-1384.

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If you do not already receive emails from OU, fill out this form! We will use the information you provide to connect you with academic, scholarship, admission, student life information and opportunities, and more.