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How do we define first-generation?

Carolina Firsts defines a first-generation college student as one whose parent(s)/guardian(s) did not complete a four-year degree in the United States.

You are still considered a first-generation college student even if any of the following are true:

Your sibling(s) graduated from a four-year university.
Your parent(s)/guardian(s) attended community college and have an Associate’s degree.
Your parent(s)/guardian(s) have taken college classes but do not have a degree.
Your parent(s)/guardian(s) received a four-year degree outside of the United States.

Is Carolina Firsts an organization I have to join?

Carolina Firsts is not an organization but rather a resource for students to utilize through attending our various workshops or events or by scheduling an appointment with the Program Coordinator.

What can I expect during an appointment?

Our appointments are completely student-centered. The Program Coordinator will work with you to determine your needs or goals and can help connect you to resources across campus or in the community. Feel free to also just chat about the first-gen experience!

How can I keep up with Carolina Firsts?

Carolina Firsts sends out biweekly email updates that include Center for Student Success updates as well as information about first-generation events or resources on campus. If you do not already receive those emails and would like to, please send an email to Additionally, you can follow The Center for Student Success on Instagram (@cfss_programs) or check out our page on Heel Life!