COVID-19
View the latest updates and emergency notifications on the COVID-19 News & Information website.
Institutional Research

Underrepresented Minority (URM) and First Generation

December 27, 2019

Defining Terms

California is one of the most diverse states in the nation, that is comprised of people from ethnically and economically diverse backgrounds.  For many of our students, who may be the first in their family to go to college, who come from backgrounds of poverty, or who face other challenges, receiving a degree has the potential to change the trajectory of their lives.

The majority of California's future college-age population will come from groups that have been historically underrepresented in higher education.

Two common measurements universities use to identify historically underserved students are underrepresented minority and first generation

  • Underrepresented Minority (URM) - is defined as a U.S. citizen who identifies as Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, or American Indian. All other Race/Ethnicity categories or Non-U.S. citizens are considered as a Non-Underrepresented Minority (Non-URM).

  • First generation - is defined as a student who reported both parents as not receiving a baccalaureate degree. All other students are considered as Not First Generation

Definitions taken from the Cal State data center glossary.


CSU, Chico By the Numbers

Students in Fall 2019

37% URM 63% Not URM


36% First Generation Students


California State University, Chico

Find these numbers and more in the Fact Book.


URM only looks at the primary single ethnicty/race and does not take into account other students of color that may belong to two or more ethnicity/races.  Two or More are considered Not URM because the category does not understand if both are URM ethnicity/races or not.

More than 1/3 of students in the CSU have a first generation status.


Learn More

As CSU, Chico works to improve the success of its students, more attention is being given to historically underserved students. For various reasons, many URM students have not been afforded the same educational opportunities as some of their peers, putting them at a significant disadvantage. Compound that disparity with the difficulty of negotiating the collegiate environment, which disproportionately affects First Generation students, and a golden opportunity presents itself for us to better serve our students.

Focus on URM/Non-URM populations.