First-Generation Success Program
In addition to the information on this page about first generation to college students at WPI, read more about WPI's support for first generation students.
A Community Supporting One Another
Hear from first-generation students attending WPI!
Learn more about why they chose WPI, what they wish they knew, and advice they have for high school students.
A Guide for First-Year College Students
Former First Lady Michelle Obama was a first-generation student herself, so she has intimate knowledge of what it takes to succeed in your first year in college.
Watch this YouTube video playlist where Michelle takes you through preparing for college. Learn how to pay for college, live on your own and balance your workload, find your community and mentors, and succeed in college.
Resources at WPI
- Insight Program: During New Student Orientation and through the first two terms at WPI, you will be part of a group of students and advisors dedicated to assisting with your transition to college, both personally and academically, and helping you make the most out of your first year at WPI.
- The OASIS Cultural Center is a location for you to meet friends and study in a comfortable environment. Start building your community here.
- The MASH Tutoring Center provides math and science help, learning from upperclass students who have been through the same material. You'll review material either from classmates taking the same course, or can schedule one-on-one tutoring sessions.
Programs at WPI
- Connections Program: A weeklong pre-orientation designed to increase access to educational and professional development opportunities for underrepresented first-year students who identify as: students of color, first generation college students and/or a of the LGBTQIAP+ community. Connections introduces students to an extensive network of support services and campus resources to ensure that they have the skills and tools they need to succeed at WPI and beyond.
- Innovations: A program designed to optimize access to campus resources and support for incoming students who identify as first generation college students. Students have the option to live in a first generation residential community and will provide mentorship, programming and advising to foster the student's personal, academic, and professional development at WPI
First-Gen Students - Where Are They Now?
WPI Delivers Value for First-Gen Students
Worcester Polytechnic Institute has officially been recognized by ScholarMatch, a San Francisco nonprofit organization whose mission is to make higher education possible for low-income youth, as being one of the standout colleges in the U.S. that are providing excellent support for first-generation and low-income students. Each year, ScholarMatch analyzes 1,400 U.S. colleges and universities using public college data and information from the College Scorecard to determine which schools offer the most supportive environments for students whose families earn less than $50,000 per year.
WPI is engaged in a partnership with nonprofit Strive for College in a commitment to to enrolling, graduating, and strengthening college opportunities for low-income, first-generation college students. Strive and WPI promote college opportunities and work to lower the first-gen college dropout rate through an online mentoring program and college matching tools.
Strive recognizes WPI for its completion rates—exceeding the national averages for retention and graduation rate, plus for outcomes in which more than 25% of graduates from the bottom fifth of incomes as students have moved to the top fifth as adults.