What does First-Gen Mean?

Any student who does not have a parent or guardian that has completed a four-year degree.

For CARC programming, we welcome students to access our resources and services as there are many circumstances and complexities that could limit a student from receiving informed guidance from family about navigating higher education.

Annual Programs and Events

First-Generation Families Reception

Fall New Student Orientation

This session welcomes families of first generation students to the Amherst community and to celebrate this momentous occasion. There will be an opportunity to learn about the resources and networks to help you and your student as they begin their journey at Amherst.


First-Generation and/or Low-Income Student Reception

Fall New Student Orientation

A reception for first-generation and/or low-income students coordinated by QuestBridge, First Generation Association, and the Class & Access Resource Center. We hope you join us for an opportunity to connect with staff, faculty, and other students as we build community and develop networks of support that foster success for you at Amherst. 


Fall FLIng

Fall semester (annual) 

A fun and celebratory gathering at Book & Plow Farm for all first generation and/or low-income (FLI) students, staff and faculty. Activities include lawn games, kickball, and pumpkin painting. Apple cider and donuts served!


FLI Week

November 8 is National First Generation Day of Celebration. Join the Class & Access Resource Center for a week of programming highlighting the FLI community at Amherst. Kick off the week with a celebratory bonfire (and make a s'more!) with fellow FLI students, staff, and faculty. Participate in educational and community-building workshops throughout the week to deepen your connection to your FLI identity.

2021 Schedule


Meiklejohn Fellows Graduation Ceremony 

Saturday, May 28, 2022

A celebratory event for graduating first gen students and families during commencement weekend. All graduating FLI seniors will receive a medallion and be honored during this special ceremony. Dinner and drinks provided!

See photos from the 2021 hybrid ceremony

Meiklejohn Fellows Program

Many first-generation and/or low-income students qualify to participate in the Meiklejohn Fellows Program which provides FLI students with career-preparation support and advising. All Meiklejohn Fellows have access to a $5000 stipend which can be applied towards an unpaid internship during either their first or second summer at Amherst.

Peer Mentor Program

The CARC collaborates with the Meiklejohn Fellows Program to offer peer mentoring to all first year FLI students. Peer mentors are sophomores, juniors or seniors who are first generation and/or low-income students. Meiklejohn fellows are automatically connected with a peer mentor before they arrive on campus and meet regularly with their mentor throughout the first year to get extra support and advice on the transition to Amherst. Peer Mentors also lead regular workshops for first year students and host social gatherings to assist in building community connections.
FLI students who are not in the Meiklejohn Fellows Program may still participate in the mentoring program.

Get Involved & Connected

QuestBridge Low-Income Community - contact Frida Hernandez and Joanna Idrovo, Co-Chairs at fhernandez24@amherst.edu and jidrovo23@amherst.edu