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First-Generation Families

Welcome to Vanderbilt University!

We are excited that your family has joined the Vanderbilt community. It is our hope that our office can connect you to the necessary resources and support services and answer any questions you may have about Vanderbilt.

At Vanderbilt University, first-generation college students – those from families in which neither parent has earned a four-year undergraduate degree – are called “Vandy Firsts.” First-generation students are an integral part of our University community, contributing to the great diversity and the cultural and intellectual life of our high-achieving undergraduate student population. Vanderbilt University celebrates the abilities, strength, and resilience of our first-generation students and their family members, and we look forward to seeing you on campus.

Parent Handbook

The Parent Handbook contains a wealth of information regarding academic resources, student health and wellness, financial information, visiting campus, and more. View an electronic version of this great resource under the Resources tab on the website.

College Terminology 101

We understand that this process can be overwhelming at times, and we want to make sure you are as informed as possible. Please click here to view our guide of common words and phrases that you may come across during your student’s time at Vanderbilt University.

FirstVU Student Organization

FirstVU is the student-run organization that supports, celebrates, and empowers first-generation students at Vanderbilt. Peer advocates who are also first-generation stu­dents lead the group and serve on the FirstVU executive board.  Please click here for more information on the FirstVU program.

The mission of FirstVU is to provide support and foster a strong community where first-generation students feel empowered and supported by the University. FirstVU advocates will guide students to campus resources in the following areas:

  • Student Life and Co-Curricular Engagement
  • Academics
  • Faculty and Instructors
  • Career Guidance

Advice from former FirstVU member, Christine Lim:


“Be open to opportunities but also focus on your passions. The path may not be the way you intended it to be but at the end of the day it will work out. Last but not least, trust the process.”

Christine Lim
Class of 2018


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