Ensuring an unsurpassed student experience is paramount to Syracuse University—especially when it comes to students who are the first in their family or support system to go to college. With 19%* of the undergraduate student body identifying as first generation, we are committed to helping you pursue your dreams and reach your goals through resources and opportunities that demonstrate our ongoing commitment to access and inclusion.
Irene and Morris B. Kessler Presidential Scholars Program
Students selected for the Kessler Presidential Scholars Program not only receive four years of substantial scholarship aid, but also have access to holistic services that enhance their experience and success on campus. In addition to warm and welcoming programs and events hosted to build community among the Kessler Scholars, each student is connected to a peer mentor, participates in career-enrichment activities, engages in community projects and receives support to study abroad.
There is no separate application for the Kessler Presidential Scholarship. When you apply to Syracuse University, you are automatically considered for the Kessler Presidential Scholarship if neither of your parents graduated from college (as indicated on your Common Application).
’Cuse First Pre-Welcome Program
For new students, this two-day program held directly before new student orientation (Syracuse Welcome) helps first-generation students connect and prepare for their academic career. Sessions cover study tips, how to navigate the University, managing finances and more. Learn more about the ’Cuse First Pre-Welcome Program.
Many2Come Student Organization
This student organization provides a free space for you to express concerns and gain advice from other students, panels, guest speakers and more. The mission of Many2Come is to make Syracuse University a place of opportunity for everyone, no matter their starting point or privileges.
Additional Support Programs and Resources
Below are programs and offices that traditionally support a large number of first-generation students. Some students engage in multiple programs and offices.
WellsLink Leadership Program
This award-winning academic excellence and leadership program provides academic, social and cultural enrichment activities for first-year students of color. WellsLink scholars are trained for success and leadership at SU and beyond. Learn more about the WellsLink Leadership Program.
Native Student Program and Other Resources
Syracuse University is just minutes from the heartland of Haudenosaunee territory and is invested in a relationship with our Indigenous neighbors that promotes cross-cultural dialogue, research opportunities and stronger appreciation for Native American leadership and contribution. The Native Student Program is designed to support students during their transition to Syracuse and throughout their entire undergraduate experience. Learn more about the Native Student Program and find additional resources on our Native American Students page.
OrangeSeeds acquaints passionate first-year students with the campus and its leaders, and challenges new students to become actively involved during their first semester on campus. Through a number of learning and community service opportunities, Seeds engage with the Syracuse campus and greater city in need. Learn more about OrangeSeeds.
Academic Opportunity Programs
- Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP)
- Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP)
- Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP)
- Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Academic Achievement Program
- TRIO Student Support Services Program (SSSP)
- Office of First-Year and Transfer Programs
- Office of Multicultural Affairs: Mentoring programs, including WellsLink Leadership Program, Dimensions Mentoring Program, fullCIRCLE Mentoring Program, Men of Color Initiative and Native Student Program
- Office of Multicultural Advancement: Provides the Our Time Has Come Scholarship
- Accessibility and Support
- Services and Support
- Virtual Sessions and Tours
- Apply to Syracuse University
- Special Aid Programs
*Of the undergraduate students matriculated at Syracuse University in fall 2020, 19% (2,717) are first-generation students.