The University of Lynchburg values the contributions of our first-generation students, faculty, staff, administration, and alumni. Currently, 21% of our undergraduate student population are first-generation students, meaning neither of their parents obtained a four-year college degree.
We are committed to the success of our first-gens and resources are available to aid students in their journey towards graduation and beyond.
Alpha Alpha Alpha National Honor Society (Tri-Alpha)
In March 2019, the University of Lynchburg chartered the Kappa Chapter of the Alpha Alpha Alpha National Honor Society for First-Generation College Students. We were the first chapter of the society in Virginia and are now one of only four chapters in the commonwealth . The society consists of students, faculty, staff, and administrators at the University. To qualify for induction into Tri-Alpha, undergraduate first-generation students must have completed at least 30 credit hours and earned a 3.2 or higher GPA.
Coalition for College
The University of Lynchburg joined the Coalition for College during the 2020-21 academic year. The Coalition for College is a diverse group of more than 150 public and private colleges and universities across the U.S. working to improve college access for first-generation and lower-income students. Coalition member schools are united in their mission to support students and provide responsible financial aid. The goal is to boost students’ success in college and beyond.
National First-Generation College Student Day
National First-Generation College Student Day recognizes the achievements of individuals who are the first in their families to attend college. The day is meant to bring awareness to the barriers faced by first-generation students and emphasize the importance of providing them with resources, mentorship, and opportunities to succeed academically.
Celebrated on Nov. 8, the day commemorates the signing of the Higher Education Act (HEA) in 1965 by President Lyndon B. Johnson. This act created federal financial aid programs to fund students’ educations and made key investments in colleges and universities.
Janika Carey is the executive director of communications at the University of Lynchburg and a former first-gen student. She’s the mom of two — a rising sophomore at Lynchburg and a fourth grader — and enjoys playing tennis in various local USTA leagues.
Originally from Germany, Janika attended Humboldt University in Berlin for two years before moving to the U.S. and enrolling at Sweet Briar College, where she studied English and graduated summa cum laude in 2010. A series of part-time and freelance jobs led her to a staff writer/marketing specialist position at Sweet Briar in 2012.
In 2019, Janika joined the University of Lynchburg. She edits the Lynchburg Magazine, oversees content for the news site, and writes and edits news and feature stories and marketing copy.
The University of Lynchburg is committed to ensuring the success of its first-generation students through various support programs. One such program is the Summer Transition Program, designed to help incoming first-generation students make a smooth transition from high school to college. This program provides resources and guidance on academic skills, time management, and campus navigation, empowering students to thrive in their new academic environment.
Additionally, the university offers the CHAMPS (Collaborative and Holistic Academic Mentoring Peer Success) mentoring program. CHAMPS pairs first-generation students with experienced mentors who provide valuable guidance, support, and encouragement throughout their college journey.
These programs exemplify the University of Lynchburg’s dedication to creating an inclusive and supportive environment where first-generation students can excel academically and personally.