First-Generation Students

The George Washington University formally defines first-generation college students as those whose parents did not complete a four-year, baccalaureate degree. We also recognize that there are many definitions for what it means to be a first-gen college student.  

You are a first-gen student if:

  • You identify with the above definition.
  • You feel as though you have a similar life experience to those who identify with this definition.
  • You’re looking for a place to build community and support that will help you integrate into life here at GW.
  • You would like to be an ally and support those who are the first to complete a four-year degree.

We are excited to welcome you to GW and look forward to how the strength and experiences you bring will enrich our community!


of GW undergraduate students are first-gen college students

“First Forward” institution

GW is recognized by NASPA for our commitment to improving the experiences of first-generation college students

Dean Petty talking with students at the F Street House



Students at First Gen Formal


GW First-Gen in the News

2019 National First-Gen Day

GW Hatchet (video): Students celebrate National First Gen Day with tabling session at MSSC Diversity Summit

Higher Education

Student Affairs Professionals in Higher Education (NASPA): Programs for First-Generation Students at GW

GW Hatchet: GW joins nationwide cohort focused on improving first-generation experience