First Generation
Scholars Program

Supporting First-Generation College Students

At Loras College we define first-generation college students as any student that will be the first in their family to complete a 4-year degree. First-generation college students have parents/guardians that have not completed a 4-year degree. We understand the difficulties that first-generation college students face, and we have strategically created a program just for you.

The First-Generation Scholars Program (FGSP) at Loras College offers a scholarship up to $1,500 and strives to support first-generation college students and their families through engagement, communication, study skills, and experiential opportunities.  By creating a supportive infrastructure for students and their families, the First-Generation Scholars Program aims to enhance participating students’ overall college experience and to support them in achieving their goal of being the first in their family to complete a college degree.

Unique Features
  • Peer and professional mentorship program.
  • Professional communication and job-readiness development opportunities.
  • Professional financial planning development opportunities.
  • Cohort model is used to encourage meaningful connections among first-generation students.
  • Receive up to a $1,500 annual scholarship based on financial need. (Awards are renewable with continued program participation)
Criteria to Qualify
  • Apply and be admitted to Loras College.
  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and add Loras College using the school’s code 001873.
  • Have demonstrated financial need.
  • Neither parent or guardian have completed a 4 year college degree.
  • Submit the First Generation Scholars Program application and supporting materials by March 31st. See application process below. 
To be considered for the scholarship you must
  • Scholars must be a first-generation student as defined by Loras College (I.e. First-Generation college students have parent(s)/guardian(s) that have not complete a 4-year degree).
  • Scholars must be an incoming first-time, full-time first-year, or transfer student with at least 60 credits left to complete their degree.
  • Scholars must be willing to fully participate in the First Generation Scholars Program and activities for as long as the award is granted.
  • Scholars must maintain good standings with the College.
Students selected to be a First Generation Scholar must:

  • Agree to attend the Loras College First Generation Scholars Welcome prior to Launch into Loras;
  • Agree to participate in 4 years (2 years if transfer student) of progressive and socially challenging programming, campus activities, and career readiness workshops;
  • Agree to attend designated meetings with the Director of Intercultural Programs or designee;
  • Transition to leadership roles as upperclassman with participation as student leader in the First Generation Scholars Welcome program and potential mentorship role for incoming students;


  • Maintain full time status;
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress toward degree completion;
  • Abide by all Loras College policies found in the student handbook;
  • Represent the college in a positive manner

Disclaimer: Loras College reserves the right to implement changes to the First-Generation Scholar Program per the developmental curriculum and program evaluation plan.

Application Process

1. Applicants must apply using the First-Generation Scholars Program portal below. The application is composed of the following:

  • Demographic background information
  • Co-curricular background information
  • Volunteerism background information
  • Program agreement consent checklist
  • 300-500 word statement of purpose submission. The statement of purpose should highlight the applicant’s academic aspirations, and goals while at Loras College.

2. Applicants will be notified if they have been selected as a candidate for the First-Generation Scholars Program. At that time the applicants will be requested to phone interview with the Center for Inclusion and Advocacy.

Scholarship Application

Login and password required for scholarship application.
If you do not have a Loras College login, please contact your admission representative or email


Scholars must;

  • Maintain full time status.
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress toward degree completion.
  • Abide by all Loras College policies found in the student handbook.
  • Represent the college in a positive manner.
  • Resources or First-Generation College Students
Resources for First Generation College Students
Strive for College

There’s something special about being first. The first in flight, first man on the moon, the first African-American president, first kisses, first impressions, first place, and being among the first in your family to attend and graduate from college!

I’m First—Created by nonprofit Center for Student Opportunity to provide students who lack a family history of higher education with inspiration, information, and support on the road to and through college

Strive for College—a national nonprofit that also runs a national online mentoring program for college-bound students..

Advice From First Generation College Students

First in the Family: Advice About College from First-Generation Students—Your High School Years
by Kathleen Cushman

“If we can do it, so can you!” That’s the message sent to students in this advice book, written with college students who were the first in their families to go past high school. It’s tough to aim for college if other family members have not—so this book offers the kind of encouraging, practical guidance that an older sibling would give. Inspiring stories of the diverse student contributors—who end up at institutions from community colleges to elite universities—combine with warm and well-organized counsel and checklists.

Click the button below to read the ebook version.

First in the Family: Advice About College from First-Generation Students