First Generation


GW 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 may 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, or you would like to be an ally and support those who are the first to complete a four-year degree. 



First Gen Dodgeball


First Gen United (FGU) is GW's only student organization comprised of and for first-generation college students. Being a first-gen student is something to celebrate, and this student organization seeks to help you soar to success. FGU assists first-generation college students in three areas: acclimation, advocacy, and academics.

Email FGU at [email protected].


Textbook Bank

FGU understands how expensive textbooks can be, so they work to provide free textbooks to first-gen students. If you are interested in renting a textbook, please email them at [email protected] to see if it is available.


Mentorship Program

FGU’s Mentorship Program supports first-year students at GW by pairing them with an upper-class mentor. Mentors and mentees meet on a weekly basis and attend events throughout the year, fostering community and friendship.



FGU hosts a variety of events throughout the year, from monthly professional development to fun social events, like First Friday Dinners. At the end of the spring semester, FGU also holds a First Gen Formal to celebrate graduating first-generation students.





Blaze the Tra1l: The Fist-Gen Living Learning Community

This residential experience was developed to support first-generation college students and assist you with their transition from high school into college life at GW. Building belonging and academic success is happens by connecting you with relevant campus resources, increased faculty and staff interaction, and intentional programming efforts that include cultural enrichment experiences, social interactions, and educational activities. First-generation first-year students can apply through the housing application. This year's Living Learning Community will be in Guthridge Hall. All students living in the First Gen LLC needs to participate in Founding Scholars, a pre-orientation program.


First Friday Dinner

First Friday Dinners & Workshops

Held on the first Friday of every month, these free, casual dinners help build a stronger first-gen student community where you can get to know other first-gen students and build a network of peers.

Prior to each dinner, a 45-minute skill development workshop is hosted to share resources and connect you to support services and skills for a successful college experience. Workshop topics include, but are not limited to, academic support, managing your finances, healthy eating on a budget, career coaching, and more!


Proud to Be First ChalkBoard

Founding Scholars

Founding Scholars welcomes incoming first-generation college students to life at GW through on-campus activities and outings in D.C. You will build community with other first-gen students, connect with faculty & staff, and learn about valuable academic and campus resources. The goal of Founding Scholars is to reduce barriers between first-gen students and continuing-generation peers, thereby catapulting you to a successful start to your college experience.

Register for Founding Scholars


First Gen Alliance

First-Gen Faculty & Staff Alliance

The Division of Student Affairs is committed to transforming the student experience and empowering students through leadership, advising, and community building. The goal of the GW First-Generation Alliance is to show our first-gen students that there are faculty, staff, and alums with similar experiences and/or maybe be first-generation themselves. If you are interested in being part of this initiative, please fill out this form, or email us at [email protected].