graduating students walking in line to commencement

First Generation @ Carleton

logo saying "first gen"

First-generation students contribute greatly to the intellectual life and the vibrancy of the Carleton experience.

At Carleton College, we consider you to be first-generation if neither of your parents or legal guardian(s) received a bachelor’s degree. First-generation status applies even if you have an older sibling who attended college before you.

Please visit our online directory showcasing many of Carleton’s first-generation faculty and staff. All of them want to connect with and support our students.

Faces of First-Gen

16% of incoming Carleton students self-identify as the first generation of their families to attend college. Meet a few of our first-gen students!

Students in the Anderson Hall atrium

Carleton College is one of 77 colleges and universities nationwide to be recognized as a First-Gen Forward Institution.

As a member of the 2020–21 cohort, Carleton is recognized by the Center for First-Generation Student Success for its demonstrated commitment to advancing first-generation student success.

Learn more about Carleton’s First-Gen Forward Designation.

Carolyn Livingston

“I relish my role at Carleton College, which has a strong commitment to celebrating and serving first-generation college students. My status as a first-generation student shaped my college experience and forged my career trajectory. In fact, I continue to identify as first-generation, and the choices I have made as a result have not only had an enormous impact on my life but inspired family and others for whom a college education seemed unattainable.

“Being first-generation has given me the opportunity to learn something new each day while supporting others just beginning their college journeys.”

Carolyn H. Livingston, Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students

Lily Athamanah ’15

As a student, Posse Scholar Lily Athmanah ’15 served on the Dining Board, became a resident assistant, and was the student departmental adviser for American Sudies. “It was so helpful for me to have the support of the program and the connection with other Posse students,” she says.

Today Lily is a corporate communications specialist in Chicago. She also volunteers as a résumé-writing coach for first-year scholars at Posse Chicago.

Read more about Lily and other Carleton Posse alumni.