In fall of 2016, UC Santa Cruz welcomed 16,962 students. 42% (7,124) of those students were the first in their families to attend college. In a response to the growing "first-gen" population, a need to better address the unique challenges that first generation students face, and to create a welcoming and supportive campus environment, in spring 2017 the  "#First-Gen College Grad" campaign was launched.

The goals of this initiative are to:

  • Raise the visibility of first-generation students at UCSC, and recognize the challenges and strengths they have as well as the unique gifts they bring to the university.

  • Foster a positive campus climate that welcomes first-generation students, and begins to build long-term relationships of support, understanding, and learning between students, faculty, and staff.

  • Provide information and encouragement to first-generation students helping them identify and make strategic use of campus support services.

  • Create spaces for discussion about how department-, college-, and division-specific policies and practices can best facilitate and support first-generation students’ academic success, belonging, and wellbeing.

  • Build a network of allies with shared interests and a common goal in support of first-generation students.


For more information, please contact Rebecca Covarrubias, Assistant Professor of Social Psychology ( or Gwynn Benner, Principal Analyst for the Division of Student Success (