Campus Updates

Visit the campus updates page for information on Mount Holyoke's response to the global pandemic. The Opening the Gates site contains details about the spring semester.

Mount Holyoke College
Opening the Gates

First-Generation and Low-Income Students

First-generation and low-income students should review the full Opening the Gates plan for information on safe on-campus living and housing, finances and financial aid, student employment and more. The following section is for specific questions that affect first-generation and low-income students, such as financial support.


At Mount Holyoke College, “first generation” is defined as a student in which neither parent has earned a four-year degree. A “low-income household” is one whose income is low, relative to other households of the same size in their area or region. Visit the First-Generation and Low-Income College Student FAQ page for more detailed definitions.

Incoming students should visit the Resources for Incoming First-Generation students page.

The Student Safety Net Fund supports students who may have a difficult time accessing living necessities, access to technology and other needs to support academic learning in a remote environment (e.g., food, books and academic supplies, internet access, etc.). Safety Net funding will open to support first-generation and low-income students beginning Tuesday, January 12, 2021. 

This fund does not replace the loss of student wages, but it can help offset the impact on a student’s ability to meet their essential needs. Funding is not guaranteed and students may be awarded less than the full amount requested. Each funding application is evaluated on a case-by-case basis and funding is available on a first-come, first-served basis until the fund is depleted.

For more information about the Safety Net application process or to submit an application, visit the Safety Net Spring 2021 Application.

Every semester, the First Generation and Low Income Partnership student organization, in collaboration with the First Gen Network, organize student affinity events and opportunities for dialogue.

Building community at the Unity Space

The Unity Space is often a gathering place and home for first-generation and low-income students. Students are invited to stay tuned for opportunities to meet and connect with members from the MHC first-generation and low-income community throughout the semester, whether they are studying on campus or at a distance.