First-Generation Students

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

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 puts opportunities there for anyone to grasp, and I've tried to take all of them as best as I could.

– Diego Del Risco Orbegoso '20

You’re some of the most courageous students around for doing what you’re doing. You bring qualities and values to the college journey that others can’t. Embrace your heritage—while honoring your parents—and enjoy the journey.

Lizz Mishreki

Lizz Mishreki, APR
Director of Public Relations/FirstGen College Student Program

Two students working together collaboratively

Regardless of fear, or uncertainty, this is your chance to make this happen. You are not alone.

Marcella Olave, M.A.

Prof. Marcella Olave, M.A.
Assistant Professor of Biology

Student Athletes

Always ask questions, use all of your resources, and never be afraid to ask for help. It can be intimidating, stressful and at times frustrating, but believe me, it’s a journey worth taking.

Michelle Martir

Michelle Martir, CUI 2015 alum
Senior Admissions Counselor
Office of Undergraduate Admissions

Community College Transfer Students

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

Learn More

Recent News

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

More than a quarter of Concordia's student population is Hispanic, or Latinx, making CUI 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.

The Office for Equity and Inclusion provides leadership and accountability to ensure an equitable and inclusive environment for students, faculty, staff, and visitors through policy development, educational programming, and collaborative University initiatives which support a healthy and engaging campus climate.

Read more about our commitment


Lizz Mishreki

Lizz Mishreki
FirstGen College Student Program
(949) 214-3146
[email protected]

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