1st Gen Lopers

Did you know that 4 in 10 UNK students are first generation? A first generation student is one whose parents have not completed a bachelor's degree. It can be daunting for first-gen students to navigate their way in higher education, but we are here to support you. Many UNK faculty and staff were also among the first in their families to complete a degree. Together let's break down boundaries, help you connect and thrive on campus, learn common higher ed terminology and phrases and finish your degree to launch a successful career.

UNK is a First-gen Forward Institution, recognized and supported by the Center for First-generation Student Success. Our First Generation leadership team identifies and creates student success practices in recruitment and enrollment, transitions and success – and celebrates First-gen accomplishments.

First Forward BadgeThe Center for First-generation Student Success has selected the University of Nebraska at Kearney as part of its 2021-22 First-gen Forward cohort.

The First-gen Forward designation recognizes higher education institutions demonstrating a commitment to improving experiences and advancing outcomes of first-generation college students. 

Be First. Be Proud.

Academic Trophy

It's a Milestone

Change the direction of your life and future generations of your family.


Higher Income

Over a lifetime, bachelor degree holders earn $1 Million more than those with a high school diploma.*


More Opportunities

By 2028, there will be 19 Million jobs unfilled due to the lack of educated workers to fill them.*

*U.S. Dept of Labor and U.S. Dept of Education


The Faces of First Gen at UNK

UNK has emerged as a first-generation destination. First-gen students share part of their stories of overcoming challenges, setting goals and achieving success.

Samantha Snogren

"The scholarship opportunities at UNK were most important to me. I knew it was an affordable university with all the resources I could possibly need. The professors challenge their students while giving them the tools they need to succeed. I felt that my instructors prepared me for any obstacles I might face in my career. The professors at UNK truly want their students to find a successful career in their field, and I definitely felt that support in the College of Education."

Samantha Snogren

Perkins County School