Important Update:

Our First-Generation Visit Days are campus visit opportunities designed specifically with prospective first-generation college students in mind. First-generation students are defined as neither parent having a four-year college degree. It's with excitement and great pride that we welcome nearly 40% of students to North Central as first-generation college students!

Experience Cardinal First

These programs allow you to experience how North Central's award winning Cardinal First program mentors and supports first-generation college students throughout your entire college career. The event includes a presentation on the Cardinal First program, lunch with current first-gen students and a walking tour of our campus led by a first-gen student tour guide.

Learn even more about the work we're doing with first-generation students in this NPR feature article and radio story, and check out what our students and their parents have to say about Cardinal First on the testimonial pages.

students at cardinal first event

First Generation Faculty and Staff

Not only will you meet many other first-gen students at North Central through Cardinal First, you will also engage with 125 faculty and staff who were first-generation college students themselves. We encourage you to reach out to them for guidance and learn from their experiences.

First generation faculty


2024 Dates TBD

12:45 p.m. - Arrive, Check-in
1:00 p.m. - Welcome & Presentation
1:20 p.m. - Observe Cardinal First "Penultimate" & Lunch
2:20 p.m. - Meet a current Cardinal First mentor
2:45 p.m. - Walking Campus Tour led by current first-gen student
4:00 p.m. - Program Concludes

cardinal first event

Group Visits

Group visits are available, too! High school counselors and teachers interested in bringing a group of first-generation students to campus for a visit should contact the Office of Admission at Please include the name of your high school, the date you are requesting to visit and the anticipated size of your group in your email message. Our Campus Visit Team will promptly get in touch with you regarding your request. Group visits will include a panel discussion with some of our current first-generation students and the opportunity for your students to meet one of our professors who is also first-gen.

Apply to North Central College

Finding the right college is a big job. After all, you're only looking for that special place offering the skills and confidence to take on the world. You could use a hand. That's why we're here - to help you manage this life decision. 

Students on campus