At USC, we define first-generation students as those whose parents do not have four-year degrees. Even if you have older siblings who are currently attending or have graduated from college, you are considered part of the first generation to enroll in, and eventually complete, college. At USC, nearly 20% of the total undergraduate population are first-generation students.

We are proud to have you here at USC. We have many resources and support services to help you navigate your college experience.

Check out our video about what it’s like to be a first generation student at the University of Southern California.

First-Generation Welcome Sessions: Summer 2021
First-Generation students admitted to the fall semester who have committed to USC will receive an email invitation in April to sign up for a virtual first-generation welcome session. We strongly encourage all new first-generation students to attend one of these sessions as part of their orientation experience. We will introduce helpful resources at USC and create opportunities for students to connect with their first-generation peers.

First-Generation Success Workshops
Our spring workshops have concluded. Please check back in August for more information on fall 2021 workshops!

USC’s First-Generation Student Leadership Program consist of current USC students who are also in the first generation of their families to attend and eventually graduate from college. These leaders are a great resource for providing their insight, advice, and perspective for navigating university life as a first-generation college student. Please click here to learn more about our leaders. You can even schedule an appointment to chat with them online!

Jessica Frey Nielsen
Director, Student Development Programs

Nahid Razavi
Assistant Dean, Student Development Programs

Nathalie Quintero
Graduate Assistant, Student Development Programs

Andrea Garcia
Graduate Assistant, Student Development Programs

Would you like to share information with the USC First-Generation community through the newsletter? Email and we will share your content on an upcoming newsletter.

Our team is pleased to offer student panels and sessions for prospective student groups who are in the first generation of their family to attend college.

If your group is interested in planning a session with us, please email our office at with the following information:

  • Name of the school or community organization
  • Name of main contact for your group
  • 3-4 preferred date and time options (in Pacific Time) for a session
  • Any requests for topics to be covered

Please note, our sessions focus on the first-generation identity and cover topics such as the transition from high school to college, how to prepare for college, etc. Please visit our colleagues in the Office of Admission if you would like to learn more about the admission process.