Prioritizing Student Success: Students First Fund

students first fund


At Kent State, we have a laser focus on ensuring that students have the education, experiences and support they need to graduate and to live successful, meaningful lives. Our deep and unwavering commitment to Students First has guided the development of strategies and a culture that welcomes all students with open arms and pushes them to become more than they ever imagined.


The Students First Fund provides students with financial pathways to affordability and access. The fund also supports experiential learning activities, like study abroad, summer undergraduate research programs, faculty mentors and internships. These high-impact experiences enable students to thrive and succeed from admission through graduation and beyond. Providing a low-to-no-cost education will lead to an increase in success for our students who are most in need.


Kent State has a considerable population of low-income students (31 percent of first year students entering in Fall 2018) and a recent university climate study showed that 50 percent of college students experience financial hardships. We want to ensure that financial barriers do not deter students from achieving their dreams and we are committed to providing all students with an equal opportunity to earn degrees. This includes financial support as well as a solid support system that addresses other possible challenges in their journey, such as individualized plans for success for each student as well as peer and faculty champions to help them navigate college. We also help students expand their understanding of opportunities available to them during college and after graduation.


This initiative uses student-focused, evidence-based strategies to improve student success by closing the retention and graduation gaps that exist between low-income and all other Kent State students while increasing student success and graduation rates.