First Generation Scholars Program

Supporting First-Generation College Students

Will you be the first in your family to complete a 4-year college degree?  Did you know that nationally, first generation college students are less likely to graduate than their continuing generation peers?  Or that first generation college students have demonstrated lower levels of academic and social integration while in college?

While there is significant research to document the difficulties that first generation college students face, there is also a lot of research that demonstrates how additional academic, financial and social supports for first generation students can improve their chances of completing their college degree.

The First Generation Scholars Program (FGSP) at Loras College offers a $1,500 scholarship 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.

First Generation Scholars Photo

This program is designed to recruit and retain first-generation students. First-generation students who opt to participate in the program are eligible for additional funds beyond their initial acceptance award up to a $1,500 scholarship depending on financial need. Awards are renewable with continued program participation.

To be considered for the FGSP you must:

  • Apply, and be admitted to Loras College
  • Be a first-generation student, which for this program means that your parent(s) or guardian(s) has/have no bachelor’s degree
  • Be an incoming first-time, full-time first-year, or transfer student with at least 60 credits left to complete their degree
  • Apply for financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Preference will be given to those with unmet financial need as determined by the Loras College financial planning office
  • Be willing to fully participate in the First Generation Scholars Program and activities for as long as the award is accepted.
  • Submit the program application and additional materials by March 31 (see application below).

Full program participation includes:

First Generation Scholar Scholarship Table

Students selected to be a First Generation Scholar must:

  • Agree to attend the Loras College REACH Orientation prior to Launch into Loras;
  • Agree to participate in 4 years 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 REACH Orientation 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: The College reserves the right to change program participation criteria. Any changes would be made in the Spring term for Fall implementation.

Applying for the First Generation Scholars Program

  1. Submit the First Generation Scholars Program application by March 31.
  2. Submit 300 – 500 word personal essay introducing yourself, your family / support structure at home, career goals and your interests in Loras College.  Please share some of the challenges you have faced and how you worked through them.  lastly, address what impact an undergraduate degree from Loras would have on you, your family /support and community.  Email your essay to


First Generation Scholars Application

Questions? Let’s get in touch.

Please reach out to us if you have any questions or would like to discuss the program further.  

Sergio Perez
Director of Intercultural Programs