First Gen at ND

First Generation

Notre Dame strives to create an inclusive and caring community for all students. We welcome and celebrate the unique contributions of our first-generation students to this special community. You bring a unique background, perspective, and personal qualities to your college experience and we’re here to support you as you learn and grow. This means acknowledging your strengths and challenges, highlighting your many accomplishments, and celebrating who you are and who you will become. 

Students enjoy bagels and coffee on South Quad
  • 97% of students return for their second year (one of the highest rates in the country).
  • 96% of students graduate on time, one of the highest graduation rates in the nation.
  • 97% of graduates are traditionally placed in careers, graduate schools, or service opportunities within six months of graduation.


Allan Njomo

“Upon visiting, I found a community that embraced me for who I was, loved me, all the quirks that I had, and really empowered me to be myself. And that’s how I knew I had found home.”

– Allan Njomo '22

Luisa Romero

“Embrace that first-gen life. It is completely OK to not have the answers to everything…Trust that everything will fall into place and whatever happens happens for a reason–and it’s what’s right for you in that moment.”

– Lulu Romero '24

Esther Chavez

“Every time somebody asks me, I just beam with pride saying she goes to Notre Dame.”

– Notre Dame Parent Esther Chavez

First Gen @ ND

Watch stories from first-generation students, parents, and staff at Notre Dame.