Skip Navigation

First-Generation Students

First-Generation Students

Welcome to the University of Oklahoma's first-generation page, designed to aid students as they navigate the college admissions process and explore the resources and community awaiting them on our campus.

At OU, we define a first-generation student as “one whose parent(s)/legal guardian(s) have not completed a bachelor’s degree. Even if an older sibling is pursuing a bachelor's degree or has already earned their degree, you are still considered a first-generation student.”

Resources and Events

Refer to the lists below to learn more about a variety of events and organizations dedicated to your success at the University of Oklahoma, both before and after you arrive on campus. This includes information about our more than 550 student organizations, details about events during which you can learn more about what life is like at OU, academic and financial resources, and more. 

On-Campus Events

  • Sower’s Day
  • TREE Conference 
  • American Indian Visitation Day (AIVD)
  • Latinos Without Borders 
  • McLaurin and Lewis Leadership Weekend (MLLW)
  • Sooner Saturday
     

Visit our website for the most up-to-date information about our on-campus events.

Meet Current First-Generation OU Students

Abraham Mendieta

Class of 2021 | Advertising & Sociology | Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

"I want to encourage prospective first-generation students to ask questions because the admissions process can be intimidating; however, many people have been in your spot before and are willing to help! You're not indicating that you're weak, that you're not well prepared, or that you don't belong here when you ask for help. Everybody needs help of some sort!"

Sara Juarez

Class of 2022 | Early Childhood Education | Moore, Oklahoma

"OU and the people here continue to support and have always encouraged me to pursue my dreams. As a first-generation undocumented student, I am thankful for everyone who has poured into me. Without them, I wouldn't be here today."

 

Frequently Asked Questions

At OU, we define a first-generation student as “one whose parent(s)/legal guardian(s) have not completed a bachelor’s degree. Even if an older sibling is pursuing a bachelor's degree or has already earned their degree, you are still considered a first-generation student.”

It’s never too early, but freshman year of high school is a good starting point. Start thinking about activities through the lens of, “will this help me get into college?” Identify universities you may be interested in and explore academic programs, cost of attendance, admissions requirements, etc.

Have a discussion about the cost of attendance early and determine if it’s feasible. Are parents or other family members able to contribute? If so, how much, and how will the student make up the difference? What scholarships does the university offer and how are they awarded? What outside scholarships are available, what is required of them, and when are their applications due? Will your student work during college? All of these things should be taken into consideration. Explore the university’s website to learn more. This gives you time to plan, especially if a student is really interested in a specific college that is outside of the budget.

Your admissions counselor is a university employee who is responsible for admissions and recruiting in your region. They help families through the college search process and provide insight as requested, and they frequently also review and make decisions on admission applications. It is important that your student build a relationship with the admissions counselor so they can advocate on your student’s behalf during the admissions process. They’re familiar with scholarship opportunities and can identify resources to help your student succeed.

During your senior year, fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible (available beginning October 1). This ensures you will be considered for federal grants, loans, and work-study funds. Have a conversation with the admissions counselor about financials and ask what aid is available. Identify federal work-study opportunities, know the difference between the two main types of federal student loans, check out academic scholarships that may come from specific departments within the university, apply for outside scholarships, and educate yourself on all of the funding types available.

Following admission, a housing contract will be available to complete. Most universities will require students to stay on campus their freshman year. Check with your admissions counselor to confirm (for OU, freshmen must live on campus unless they receive approval from OU Housing & Food to be exempt from campus housing). We recommend taking a housing tour to explore available options.

You just know. You will find a program that fits your interests and provides support to ensure success. You will identify things to get involved with, and maybe even establish relationships with people on campus (staff and students alike).

It’s okay if you don’t know what to ask. Relationships matter, especially those with your admissions counselor and anyone currently at the university. If you find yourself confused and unsure of where to begin, talk to your admissions counselor about what’s going on and allow him or her to guide you through the process.

Once you complete seven or more college level hours after your posted high school graduation date you are considered a transfer student at the University of Oklahoma. This does not include remedial or concurrent course work (course work taken in college before high school graduation). Visit our transfer page to see requirements and resources. 

In general, you will apply at the beginning of the semester immediately prior to the semester you want to attend OU. The spring application goes live June 1. The fall and summer application goes live August 1 of the previous year.

You can utilize our online Transfer Equivalency Database, the OU General Catalog, and your current advisor to see what classes equate at OU and fit into your OU degree plan.

There are two main categories of scholarships for transfer students: academic and competitive scholarships. Please note that for the purposes of these scholarships, you are only considered a transfer student if you have completed 24 college credit hours post high school graduation.

We also offer the Work Assistance Tuition Waiver designed to assist current undergraduate students that work 25+ hours per week during the academic year.

We have a dedicated team of admissions and recruitment experts who work with transfer students. You can email transfer@ou.edu with any quesetions.

Connect With Us

Contact Diversity Enrichment Programs

OU's Diversity Enrichment Programs is here to assist you with any questions you and your family may have throughout the admissions and enrollment process. Contact us by email at dep@ou.edu, phone at 405-325-2151, or text at 405-400-1384.

Sign Up for Our Mailing List

If you do not already receive emails from OU, fill out this form! We will use the information you provide to connect you with academic, scholarship, admission, student life information and opportunities, and more.