First-Generation Students

First-Gen Racers

Murray State is committed to supporting first-generation Racers and their families. A first-generation college student is someone whose parents have not completed a 4-year degree at a college or university. Over 40% of our undergraduate population is first-generation. "Today, 1 in 3 undergraduates — nearly 5M students — identify as first-generation" (Center for First-Generation Student Success)

Murray State offers first-generation students an opportunity to engage with faculty and staff during the annual First-Generation Celebration and Recognition held in November of each year. Programming for students is offered by both academic and student affairs offices. Professional development sessions are offered for faculty and staff to better understand the needs of first-generation students.

Murray State University is a 2023 First-Generation College Celebration Grant Opportunity Recipient!


Visit the First-Gen Thrive Lounge
Lowry Center, Room 2C

A place for belonging!
Study, Relax, Collaborate, Thrive

First-Gen Thrive Lounge: Before and After

Thanks to a CPE Kentucky Innovative Scholarship grant, 18 first-year, first-generation students traveled abroad for London Spring Break 2024 earning three credits toward their degree while learning about another culture. Short Video of the Experience

There are scholarships available for first-gen students. Apply through the general scholarship application

Travis ('11, Telecommunications Systems Management) and Kelly Taylor ('11, Exercise Science) established the Travis and Kelly Taylor First-Generation Student Scholarship in 2022.

  • Sonia Sotomayor: Associate Justice, Supreme Court of the United States
  • Michelle Kwan: Olympic Figure Skater
  • Michelle Obama: 44th First Lady of the United States
  • Howard Schultz: Chairman and CEO of Starbucks
  • Walt Disney: Magnificent Dreamer
  • Oprah Winfrey: Media Superstar
  • Dr. Don Robertson: VP for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at Murray State (pictured second from right below with first-gen students)

staff member at first generation student celebration
president at first generation student celebration
Dr. Robertson at first generation student celebration
students at first generation student celebration

Take the next step

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