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First-Generation Students

You're the first in your family to go to college. We're here to journey with you.

Welcome to the Concordia family of first-generation college students!

We’re proud of the journey you’ve chosen—to be the first in your family to attend college and earn a degree. We applaud your choice and admire your commitment.

Because of your heritage, upbringing, and values, you bring qualities to the college journey that will set you apart, and prepare you well for a successful future. We also understand that you’ll have challenges along the way, and that’s why we’re here. You’re not alone. This web page is filled with tips and resources for students and parents alike, so be sure to explore all that Concordia University Irvine has to offer. We wish you the best!

Concordia First-Gen Experience

  • Angel and Fernando Aguirre

    Angel and Fernando Aguirre

    Running Into the Future

    The boys are the first in their family to go to college. Angel is a psychology major with a double minor in behavioral science and sociology. He will graduate in the Summer of 2021, then pursue a master’s degree in coaching.

  • Diego Del Risco Orbegoso

    Diego Del Risco Orbegoso '20

    Seizing Opportunities

    The University puts opportunities there for anyone to grasp and I’ve tried to take all of them as best I could.

  • Diego Perez

    Diego Perez '17

    First-Gen Forensics Performance

    I am a first-generation student and first-generation born here in the U.S. Both my parents were born in Mexico. I wanted to continue my education.

  • Henry Alonzo

    Henry Alonzo, MBA '09

    Restarting a Dream by Putting Learning Into Practice

    I am proof of the American Dream, and I have my education to thank for that.

See More FirstGen Tips

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Student Athletes

Community College Transfer Students

If you’re thinking of transferring to Concordia University Irvine from a California community college, or a four-year college, Concordia could just be the fit for you.

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Recent News

$3 Million Grant Helps Concordia Serve Hispanic Students

Concordia University Irvine received the largest federal grant in its history: $3 million from the U.S. Department of Education for its Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) Program.

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Concordia University Irvine Reaches Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) Designation

More than a quarter of Concordia's student population is Hispanic, or Latinx, making Concordia a designated Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI).

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$10,000 Grant Awarded to Emerging Hispanic-Serving Institution in Orange County

Edison International recently recognized the Latina Leadership Conference at Concordia University Irvine (CUI) for its outreach to students in underserved communities with a $10,000 grant.

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Orange County University One Step Closer To Earning Hispanic-Serving Designation

Concordia University Irvine would be second faith-based university in Orange County to earn Hispanic-Serving Institution certification.

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Concordia University Irvine's 2nd Annual Latina Leadership Conference Inspires First-Gen Latinas to Aim High

Concordia University Irvine (CUI) hosted its 2nd Annual Latina Leadership Conference on Saturday, October 21, marking another important step in the private, non-profit Lutheran Christian four-year university's initiative to become a full-serving Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI).

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What is a Hispanic-Serving Institution?

Any time a two-year or four-year college or university—public or private—has an undergraduate student population made up of 25 percent or more Hispanic students, that institution is designated as an HSI, or Hispanic-Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education. HSI designation allows institutions to compete for federal grants that fund faculty professional development, curriculum development, and expand existing or establish new student services—to better serve first-generation, primarily Hispanic, students. According to the U.S. Department of Education, there are nearly 500 colleges and universities designated as HSIs in the United States and Puerto Rico, and about 300 considered emerging HSIs, meaning they’re close to reaching the 25 percent threshold. Now with over a quarter of its undergraduate student body identifying as Hispanic, or Latinx, Concordia Irvine has achieved HSI designation, which, in the end, serves all of Concordia's diverse student population.

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Hispanic Conference Leadership Alums

Concordia University Irvine alumni, as well as community members, who have participated as keynotes, speakers, or panelists in Concordia’s Hispanic Leadership Conference through the years are referred to as “conference alums.” This family of high-profile first-generation college-grad professionals pour into future first-gen college students, by sharing their journeys, remembering where they came from, and the sacrifices that their parents made for them. Here are some of their stories.

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