First Year Experience

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Buckeyes First

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Buckeyes First

Registration opens May 4, 2018.

Aug. 12-15
Aug. 16-18 OWLs*
80 Participants
$50 Registration fee

Apply online by June 20, 2018. Applications received after this date will not be considered.

Kick off your career as a Buckeye with a jam-packed schedule of fun, empowering and memorable experiences! Designed just for first-generation first-year students, Buckeyes First blends challenging activities with exciting experiences on campus and in Columbus. You’ll become familiar with the campus community and connect with faculty, staff, peer leaders and other first-generation students. And as you learn from one another and share your stories, you'll engage in fun activities that will help prepare you to be successful in your first year.

Note: Ohio State considers a first-generation college student to be a student from a family where neither parent earned a four-year bachelor’s degree.

Trip highlights:

  • Bond with small groups and peer leaders during team building activities.
  • Participate in activities to become familiar with the Ohio State campus.
  • Venture into and explore the Columbus community.
  • Learn where campus resources are located and how to use them.
  • Move into residence halls one week early.
  • Become an Ohio State Welcome Leader (OWL) and help welcome your fellow first-year peers to campus.

As a participant in Buckeyes First, student will be allowed to move into their residence halls upon arrival free of charge. Students will be required to sign an agreement acknowledging their requirement to attend all aspects of Buckeyes First and the OWL program to maintain this waiver.

*OWL students and residence life staff assist with welcoming first-year students during move-in day. Commitment to the OWL program is required for early move-in fee waiver.


“Being a first-generation college student can prove to be a challenge at times. Sometimes your parents may not understand how rough college can be, or it may seem like you have to figure this all out on your own, but that is why Buckeyes First is so awesome! It shows that you are not alone in any of this, and that there are resources and people all across campus that are here to help first generation students handle finances and transition into life on campus.”

“The best friends that I have now I made through Buckeyes First. Knowing I already had a support group around me gave me confidence going into my first year.”

Shawn Knecht, 2016 Buckeyes First participant