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


UNK selected for initiative supporting first-generation students

UNK selected for initiative supporting first-generation students

The First Scholars Network provides resources, guidance and tools aimed at increasing successful outcomes for first-generation college students and the institutions that serve them. Read More...

McClain Narber

"Both of my parents actually went to Kearney State, so that was always something I thought would be cool, to go to the same college as them. I was really involved in high school so I wanted a College that would allow me to be as involved as I was and UNK had countless of ways for me to do just that. The College of Education and UNK provided me with ample experiences that I knew prepared me for what my future was to hold. They worked extremely hard to get me into classrooms right away which was something I greatly appreciate. I truly could not imagine where I would in my teaching career without UNK. It was my home for 4 years and they were the BEST four years."

McClain Narber

2nd grade teacher
Wasmer Elementary