First Scholars Program

The Division of Student Affairs

The First Scholars™ Program is available to incoming first-time, full-time freshmen whose parents have no more than two years of education beyond high school and no post-secondary degree. Participation in First Scholars™ includes a four-year renewable scholarship, half disbursed in the fall semester and half disbursed in the spring semester. Students can receive the award depending on eligibility requirements for a total of 4 years if program requirements are met.

This scholarship is open to Washington residents who enroll at Washington State University - Pullman full-time during the 2016-2017 academic year. The program requires that the recipients live on campus in a specified residence hall for the 2016-2017 academic year, and outside of the family home the following three academic years in order to renew the scholarship. 

To be considered for a scholarship from us, you must:

  • Be a first-generation student, which for this program means that your parent(s) or guardian(s) has/have no more than two years of education beyond high school and no post-secondary degree.
  • Be an incoming first-time, full-time freshman.
  • Apply, and be admitted to Washington State University - Pullman.
  • Demonstrate financial need.
  • Be a Washington resident, or for Native American students, be eligible for in-state tuition based on tribal affiliation.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or a qualified non-citizen eligible for in-state student tuition.
  • Intend to live on campus your freshman year, and apply to live in our first-generation residence hall (when you confirm at WSU).
  • Complete the WSU Scholarship Application by January 31, 2016.
  • Apply for financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA) by February 15, 2016
  • Complete the Student Strengths Inventory™, a non-academic assessment of your potential for success. (A link will be sent to you via email after your application is submitted and eligibility is verified).
  • Be willing to fully participate in the First Scholars program and activities for up to 4 years.

First Scholars will be selected based on our eligibility criteria and the results of the SSI. If you're selected, First Scholars will provide you with opportunities to maximize your success in college and help you create an individual plan to guide you. 


Students selected to be a First Scholar must:

  • Agree to attend an overnight New Student Orientation at Washington State University in conjunction with Summer Alive!
  • Agree to enroll in a designated course for First Scholar Scholarship recipients during the fall 2016 semester;
  • Agree to participate in 4 years of progressive programming;
  • Participate in 4 years of service projects and agreed upon campus activities/workshops;
  • Agree to attend designated meetings with First Scholars Program Coordinator;
  • Participate in the mentoring program;
  • Transition to leadership roles as upperclassman;
  • Maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA.


As a First Scholar, your scholarship can be renewed each year, for a maximum of eight semesters, if you meet the following renewal criteria:

  • Maintain a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA at the end of each semester.
  • Maintain at least 12 credits each semester on the Pullman campus. *
  • Complete 24 graded semester credits by the end of spring semester.
  • Continue enrollment on the Pullman campus.
  • Demonstrate your commitment and full involvement in all First Scholars activities.

*Please keep in mind that this scholarship only covers four years, and taking 12 credits per semester does not keep you on pace to graduate in four years. In order to stay on track to graduate in four years, you should aim to earn an average of 30 credits per year. Consult your academic advisor to verify the exact number of credit hours needed to earn your particular degree.