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About First-Generation Student Success at Loyola

How Loyola Defines “First-Generation College Student”

Loyola uses the federal definition of first-generation college student, which is: 

  • An individual, both of whose parents or guardians did not complete a baccalaureate (bachelor’s) degree, or
  • In the case of any individual who regularly resided with and received support from only one parent or guardian, an individual whose only such parent did not complete their baccalaureate (bachelor’s) degree

Although this definition may be used for the purposes of financial aid or other official forms, resources developed by First-Generation Student Success at Loyola are available to all of our students. 

History of Loyola’s First-Gen Community

Loyola’s Class of 2027 has the highest number of first-generation students! In fact, approximately 26% of the incoming class identify as first-generation students.

The first-gen student success initiatives on the Loyola campus largely began during the 2021-2022 academic year, and include multiple components and collaborations with both on- and off-campus colleagues. Most notably, Loyola was recently accepted as a designated First-Gen Forward Institution and joins the 267 First-Gen Forward colleges/universities across the nation, 12 of which are Jesuit college/universities. First-Gen Forward is the nation's first recognition program acknowledging higher education institutions for their commitment to first-generation student success. As part of these initiatives, Loyola will hold multiple events throughout the year for the purpose of celebrating first-generation students and providing networking and professional/academic development opportunities.

Mission Statement

In the Jesuit spirit of cura personalis (care for the whole person), our mission is to care for the mind, heart, and spirit of each student entering the Loyola Community. We will provide support as our first-generation students become active creators who develop and sustain traditions that celebrate and empower themselves and their peers. 
We will encourage our students’ sense of self-advocacy and support their strengths within an equitable environment. We will use data-driven approaches and evidence-based practices to continue to build a greater sense of belonging within our diverse Loyola community.  
We will foster the creative energy, enthusiasm, and resiliency that Loyola’s first-generation students bring to our community through an engaged effort to honor the multi-faceted identities and robust intersectionalities our students share with us.   


First-Gen Student Success Working Group

The Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies convenes a group of faculty, administrators, and first-gen students who are dedicated to creating spaces, providing support, and effecting change so that our first-generation students are provided with every opportunity to live a full, productive, and enhanced college experience. For more information about the First-Generation Student Success Working Group, please contact Mary Beth Mudric at


  • Mary Beth Mudric, Committee Chair, Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Studies
  • Michael Puma, Dean of Undergraduate Studies
  • Tom Patterson, Associate Director of Financial Aid
  • Raven Williams, Director, ALANA Services
  • Liz Hertneck Stier, Director, Annual Giving Programs
  • Christina Spearman, Assistant Vice President for Career Services
  • Tim Brown, S.J., Associate Professor of Law and Social Responsibility
  • Sarah Lewis, Assistant Director, Messina
  • James Snow, Teaching Assistant Professor, Philosophy
  • Marianna Carlucci, Associate Professor, Psychology
  • Leslie Chiles, Program Director for Student Success Initiatives
  • Dennis Velez, Associate Director, ALANA Services
  • Rhona Little, Diversity and Inclusion Specialist
  • Lynne Elkes, Assistant Teaching Professor, Economics
  • Heidi Fuentes, Academic Success Coach
  • Jill Eigenbrode, Assistant Director of the Academic Advising and Support Center

Center for First-Generation Student Success. First-Gen Forward Institution