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.
"Trust your capabilities. There will be moments in college, whether it's in class or on campus, where you feel like your at a loss or worth less. But don't trust this feeling. Yes, as first-generation students, we had many unfair setbacks and missed opportunities. But that does not define you. You deserve all the prosperity your efforts give you. Your capabilities brought you this far and will continue to take you far. Trust in yourself and the investment you are making for yourself. And remember to reflect back on where you started because you for sure will not be the same, and that's a great thing."
-Helen Vallejos Castro
"As a First Generation International student from Argentina, I was always taught to say yes to opportunities. Being the first in your family means you're developing generational social mobility, and you need to be open-minded to new opportunities ranging from clubs and organizations to courses and even internships. You were able to accomplish the most difficult task - having the courage to leave home. Please know that you aren't alone, although at times it may feel that way, and find a community to help you during difficult times. Also - go see Financial Aid and ask about opportunities once you arrive on Campus to learn about additional financial resources. This is your time to write your own chapter! "
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
NASPA recognizes GW for our commitment to improving the experiences of first-generation college students
GW First-Gen in the News
U.S.News & World Reports: What to Know as a First-Generation College Student