Mills College


At Mills, you’ll join a diverse, inclusive community of women where 36% of our undergraduates are first-generation college students and 54% identify as people of color. Here, we’ll help you tap into your boldness and determination, creativity and conviction, with an education that will change your life. Our supportive learning environment embraces every person’s unique perspective, encourages discussion, and inspires students to put their passions into practice. You’ll be encouraged to stand out, emboldened to think big, and empowered to make a statement in your life, in your career, and in your community.

Programs Supporting First-Generation College Students

Pre-College Prep & Outreach Federal TRIO Programs (Upward Bound and Mills Educational Talent Search)

Mills College is engaged in two Federal TRIO programs: Upward Bound and Mills Educational Talent Search (METS). Upward Bound provides high school students from low-income families in which neither parent holds a bachelor’s degree with academic tutoring and opportunities that continue through college. METS connects low-income, first-generation students with academic advisors who offer personalized college planning and access to numerous resources for students. Learn more about Federal TRIO Programs (Upward Bound and Mills Educational Talent Search)

Scholarship & Financial Aid Merit and Need-Based Scholarships

Ninety percent of Mills students receive some portion of their aid directly from the College. Mills offers merit and need-based scholarships and provides additional support for first-generation students. Scholarships can total up to $26,000 for first-year students and up to $17,000 for transfer students. Learn more about Merit and Need-Based Scholarships

Summer Bridge & Orientation Summer Academic Workshop (SAW)

Mills prepares first-generation college students for success through the Summer Academic Workshop for Leaders and Scholars, an intensive four-week residential program. Every summer, 15-20 students live in residence halls with advisors and tutors, studying a range of subjects such as English, computer science, math, sociology, and social justice. Learn more about Summer Academic Workshop (SAW)

First-Year Experience & Transition Themed Housing Communities

First-year, traditional-age students at Mills have the benefit of living in themed housing communities that focus on diverse topics such as Bay Area exploration, graphic novels and fandom, STEM, or social justice. Themed housing communities are a great way for first-generation students to build deep connections at Mills while making new friends and exploring activities on and off-campus. Learn more about Themed Housing Communities

Academic Advising & Support One-on-One Advising with Faculty

First-year students are paired with faculty members who work with them one-on-one to customize a schedule to their interests and needs. The diversity of the Mills faculty ensures that first-generation college students are immersed in a supportive environment.

Student Life & Support Being the First

The Being the First Program provides support and community-building opportunities for first-generation students throughout their college experience at Mills. The program focuses on connecting students with the resources they need to meet their academic, personal, and career goals. Being the First offers specialized study sessions with access to peer tutoring, weekly peer advising services, and an annual speaker series.

Student Life & Support Women of Color Resource Center (WCRC)

Founded by Mills students, faculty, and alumnae of color and coordinated by the Ethnic Studies Department, the WCRC is dedicated to creating coalitions and community among women of diverse ethnic origins, including first-generation college students. On campus, the WCRC’s offices in historic Mills Hall provide a study and meeting space for partner organizations and the staff of the Womanist, a student-run publication featuring original writing and artwork by Mills students, alumnae, faculty, and staff of color. Learn more about Women of Color Resource Center (WCRC)

Student Diversity

  • 821
  • 0/100
  • 36%
    First-generation college students
  • 1%
    American Indian or Alaskan Native
  • 9%
  • 9%
    Black or African American
  • 27%
  • <1%
    Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
  • 45%
  • 8%
    Two or more races
  • 1%
    Race and/or ethnicity unknown
  • 1%

Student Success

  • 78%
    First-to-second year retention
  • 64%
    Six-year graduation
  • 64%
    Six-year graduation for underrepresented minority groups
  • 85%
    Freshmen who live on campus
  • 60%
    Undergraduates who live on campus
  • 91
    Full-time faculty
  • 31
    Full-time minority faculty
  • 10:1
    Student–faculty ratio
  • Top 5 Majors

    English, Psychology, Biology, Economics, Studio Art

  • Multicultural Student Clubs and Organizations

    Asian Pacific Islander Student Alliance, Black Students' Collective, El Club de Español, Indigenous Women's Alliance, Jewish Student Collective, Latinx Student Collective, Mandarin Club, Unión Salvadoreña de Estudiantes Universitarios de Mills College


Cost of Attendance

  • $44,322
  • n/a
    In-state Tuition
  • $1,313
    Required Fees
  • $13,528
    Room and Board

Financial Aid

  • $19,700,000
    Total institutional scholarships/grants
  • $42,096
    Average aid package
  • $25,150
    Average student loan debt upon graduation (of those who borrow)
  • 47%
    Pell Grant recipients among freshmen
  • 89%
    Students with financial need
  • 89%
    Students with need awarded financial aid
  • 78%
    Students with need awarded need-based scholarship or grant aid
  • 16%
    Students with need whose need was fully met


Applicant Academics

  • 1,052
    # of applicants
  • 84%
  • 3.63
    Average HS GPA
  • 27
    ACT Composite
  • 480—640
    SAT Critical Reading
  • 440—590
    SAT Math
  • 490—630
    SAT Writing
  • yes
    SAT/ACT optional


  • 1/15
    Regular application closing date
  • $50
    Application Fee
  • $50
    Application Fee (online)
  • yes
    Fee waiver for applicants with financial need
  • yes
    Early decision plan
  • n/a
    Early decision application closing date
  • yes
    Early action plan
  • 11/15
    Early action application closing date