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First Generation Programs


  • What does first-generation mean?

    If neither parent living in your household has a Bachelor's degree from a four-year college or university, then you are likely considered a first-generation college student. This definition applies to you even if you have siblings in college or siblings who already earned college degrees.

    While the above definition will qualify you for most programs that serve first-generation students, the First Scholars Program has a stricter definition. If neither parent living in your household has a degree higher than a high school diploma, then you are eligible to apply to the program. Applicants with parents who earned an Associate's degree are not eligible for the First Scholars Program, however they are still considered first-generation. Please consider applying to other support programs on campus for first-generation college students!

    If you would like to discuss your personal situation with the First Scholars team to learn more about your first-generation student status, call 509-335-1280.

  • My parent(s) earned a college degree before they moved to the U.S. Am I eligible?

    Yes, you may still be considered a first-generation college student and may be eligible for the First Scholars Program since the United States does not always recognize degrees earned outside of the country. The term First-Generation  recognizes that a student was not necessarily exposed to college-going culture while growing up. If your parent earned a degree outside of the United States, she or he is probably not familiar with the college-going culture in the US.

    If you would like to discuss your personal situation with the First Scholars team to learn more about your first-generation student status, call 509-335-4736.

  • I am undocumented, a DREAMER, or am a HB-1079 student. Am I eligible for this program?

    Undocumented students are eligible for the First Scholars Program on the condition that they complete and submit a free Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA) form. To learn more about WASFA and eligibility requirements, visit:

    Your WASFA form must be submitted before the First Scholars Program application deadline.

  • I am applying to WSU but not at the Pullman campus. Can I still apply to First Scholars?

    Students must be enrolled at the WSU Pullman campus since this program is tied to a cohort model where students will be doing most activities together on campus.

  • Do I have to be a Washington State resident? Does my WUE or WICHE program participation make me eligible?

    Yes, you must be a Washington State resident or a Native American student with in-state consideration to be eligible for First Scholars. Participation in WUE or WICHE does not qualify for eligibility.

  • I tried submitting the online application but it says I'm missing information. What do I do?

    The online form requires you to fill out every field, so you must write an answer in every field even if it doesn't apply to you. For example, if you do not have a middle name, you'll need to write "N/A" or "none" to complete the form.


  • When do I complete the Student Strengths Inventory?

    After you submit your online application and your eligibility has been verified by program staff, you'll receive an email with a link to take the Student Strengths Inventory (SSI) online. This email usually comes one month after you apply. You will also receive an email notice if you are not eligible for the program and are not invited to complete the SSI.

  • When will I hear if I have been accepted to First Scholars?

    The timeline for announcement of final decisions will vary depending on the size of the applicant pool and access to FAFSA/WASFA information and university financial aid status. Final decisions will be made before the end of May. To check on your status, feel free to contact program staff by email at

  • The application asks for my WSU ID number. Where do I find that?

    Students are notified of their WSU ID number after they have applied for admission. Your ID number will appear on all letters from the WSU Admission Office. If you have not yet applied to WSU, you must do so prior to applying for the First Scholars Program.


  • Can I live in a different residence hall or off-campus and still join First Scholars?

    First Scholars are required to participate in the Lead the Legacy residence hall program during their first year in the program, which means they will live together in the same residence hall. Scholars are not required to live together in the same room; students are welcome to select their own roommate. Students who decide to live off-campus during their first year at WSU are not eligible for the First Scholars Program.

    Students do not have to live in the residence hall past their first year in the program.

  • I tried to apply to First Scholars but got a message that the application is closed.

    Applications to the First Scholars Program for 2018-2019 is currently closed