First-Generation Support
American University is committed to enhancing the experience of 
first-generation students through providing resources, support, and guidance to successfully achieve degree completion.

Am I First-Generation?

 AU defines first-generation as students whose parent(s) or guardian(s) have never attended a college or university. 

Calling all First-Gen Students!
Do you have something to say about your experience here at AU? Anything about being first-gen? We want to hear from you!

First-year students: April 7, 6-7 pm
Juniors & Seniors: April 9, 7-8 pm
General: April 10, 12-1 pm

Interested? RSVP here!
  • "Five Questions With..."
  • Christopher Cruz Cullari 
Senior Director
Academic Support & Access Center


  • Why AU? 
  • AU has a national reputation for valuing social justice, world-class academic and student support programs, and a student-centered approach to higher education. Like most first-generation college students, leaving my home base wasn't an easy decision, and I had to consider my responsibilities to my family and community. The opportunity to become a part of this dynamic institution has made it worthwhile. 
  • What does being first-generation mean to you?
  • The college experience for a first-generation college student, like me, is transformational in the truest sense of the word. The trajectory of my own life has changed significantly because of the opportunities that graduating from college has afforded me.

  • Was there anything you were confused by during college? 

  • Managing this thing called "college" was more difficult than managing course content. I felt like I didn't know what I was doing, but other people seemed to know because being in college seemed to be an expected next step.  They had the support and benefit of their families' previous experiences.  First generation college students are often going into their college experience with essentially little to no background knowledge.

  • What are you most looking forward to this summer?

  • The Academic Support & Access Center staff has been learning over the last year about how to build better structures of support for all students, including first-generation students, and we are excited to put this learning into action this summer!

  • If you could travel anywhere, where would it be?

  • I'm interested in the idea of rebuilding domestic infrastructure, broadly speaking.  One of the places where I have gotten a chance to do that in a hands-on kind of way is also one of my favorite places, New Orleans, LA.  I've previously done community service post-Hurricane Katrina and would enjoy going back and doing more work like that in 2014. I am also particularly interested the architecture, cuisine, and legend of the city and region.

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What is the 

First-Generation Focus? 


The First-Generation Focus is a monthly newsletter produced by the American University Center for Diversity & Inclusion. The mission of the newsletter is to foster a community among AU's growing first-generation population. Each month the newsletter aims to inform readers about beneficial opportunities on campus. 





"The bad news is time flies. The good news is you're the pilot." - Michael Altshuler



April 9, 2014 

Have you missed your registration date?

Do you have more than 65 credits? If so, your registration date is either today or already passed! If you're a little behind the game, make sure that you've been cleared to register and register today! If you have fewer than 65 credits, check out the Registration website to see when it's your turn to take the plunge and sign up for classes next Fall!


Are you Graduating?! 

Congrats, Grad! The Commencement 2014 website has a lot of great information that you'll want to be aware of, including:
  • Graduation Ceremony Dates & Times
  • Ceremony FAQs
  • Timelines 


Let's make sure this isn't you!



It's the start of everyone's favorite time of year: Finals! Okay, so maybe not everyone's favorite, but we still have to apply what we've learned over the course of the semester to these last assessments. 


So, in order to make sure that we're all on top of our game, check out the Finals Schedule and make sure that you plug all of your final dates in your planner or on your calendar! Be sure to check out your course syllabus to ensure accuracy, too.


We're almost there. Planning for finals, for term papers, for graduation. It is important to not lose track of all of the hard work that we've put in this semester and to finish on a high note. Are you falling behind or just can't quite get a grasp on some concepts? Check out these great on-campus resources to help you make it through the last weeks of the school year!

Naturally, other AU offices also have great programming and support before the end of the year to help you succeed, so check out the Office of Campus Life website for more information!



Setting goals is an important way to get and remain motivated for short- and long-term success. When making your personal goals, think about the steps needed to complete these goals and make plan to accomplish these mini-goals in a timely fashion. Make sure you set SMART goals

Specific, strategic, significant

Measurable, meaningful

Achievable, attainable

Relevant, reasonable, realistic

Timely, tangible


One great way to see if you're making progress on your goals is to evaluate your progress regularly. Check out these great goal-tracking tools to see what may work for you!



Don't forget about your FAFSA!
Seriously. Fill it out right now. Collect your documents, fill out your information and click submit. Filling out the FAFSA is vital to receiving the proper amount of need-based financial aid here at AU. Even if you weren't offered aid last year, make sure to fill it out, in case circumstances have changed. 
Deadline for continuing students: May 1
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And our Twitter handles: @AUlgbtqa_cdi, @AUmulti_cdi, @AUCDI

Center for Diversity & Inclusion
American University
Mary Graydon Center, 201
Washington, DC 20016  
Tel: (202) 885-3651| Fax: (202) 885-1168|