First Generation Student Support

First Generation Logo


The Center for Student Engagement (CSE) recognizes that there are many definitions for what it means to be a First-Generation college student. The University defines First-Generation college students as those whose parents did not complete a baccalaureate degree.

Thus if any of these statements apply to you then you're welcome at any and all CSE events or programs for First-Generation students:

  • you identify with the above definition
  • you 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

We are excited to welcome you to GW and look forward to how the strength and experiences you bring will enrich our community. 

Programs to Support First-Generation Student Success

Founding Scholars

This day-long orientation offers an overview and refresher of GW information for incoming first-year students. Examples of information covered: time management, tools, and resources for academic success, career exploration, and CSE offerings. The goal of the program is to teach students about resources available to them at the start of their academic career, so they can pair that information with their own strengths and knowledge to be the most successful student they can be.

September 3rd, 2017
Marvin Center Continental Ballroom

To register for Founding Scholars, click here!

First Generation Connect

This networking event kicks off the school year! Attend this event to meet faculty and staff who will be important to your GW experience. Students, staff, and faculty are invited to come, mix and mingle. Invitations are sent to campus partners such as:

Wednesday, August 30th 2017
6:00 - 7:30PM
Science and Engineering Hall Basement

To RSVP to First-Generation Connect, click here!

First Friday Dinners/Workshops

Held on the first Friday of the month, these free dinners/workshops help build a stronger First-Generation student community. The dinners offer a casual setting where all First-Generation students are will get the chance to know other First-Generation students, build an invaluable network of peers, and meet university staff.

Prior to the dinners,  the CSE will also host skill development workshops. Similar to the dinners, they will be informal in nature and will be a mixture of presentations and discussions. Staff from other offices will assist with presentations; all students who attend will be given tangible resources that will enhance their college experience!  Workshop topics include (but are not limited to): academic support, managing your finances, healthy eating on a budget, career coaching and more. (student suggestions are welcome)

The Spring 2018 Friday Dinners/Workshops dates:

  • January 19th
    • 5:15pm : Career Services Exploration & Interview Tip
      • Gelman Library Room 219
    • 6pm: Dinner
      • Marvin Center, 5th floor lobby
  • February 2nd
    • 6pm Dinner
      • Location- TBD 
  • March 2nd
    • 5:15pm: Eating Healthy on a Budget
      • Marvin Center, 4th Floor 
    • 6pm: Dinner
      • Marvin Center, 5th floor lobby
  • April 6th
    • 5:15pm: Workshop TBD
      • Marvin Center, 4th Floor 
    • 6pm: Dinner
      • Marvin Center, 5th floor lobby

Note - students can attend the workshops without attending the dinners and vice versa.

Questions: Contact Brittany Abraham at [email protected].

First-Generation 2 College

This is GW's only student organization for First-Generation college students. This student organization is made of and for First-Generation college students. Being a First-Gen students is something to celebrate and this student organization seeks to assist First-Generation college students in three areas: Social Support, Advocacy, and Academics. In order to get in contact with the First-Generation 2 College organization, please click here

Programs for Upperclassmen

The CSE seeks to support second, third, & fourth year students as they explore internships, consider graduate school, and figure out career paths/navigate the job market post-graduation. Thus specific programs are offered related to development and the transition out of college.

Other Initiatives
First-Generation Equipment Bank

Through the generosity of a donor, the CSE is able to offer professional clothing for interviews, cookware and laptops for usage. Contact Britanny Abraham ( for more information. 

First-Generation Office Hours

Office hours are an opportunity to meet face to face with a fellow First-Generation student to seek advice. Held weekly two hours, the hours are staffed by volunteer First-Generation students who are juniors and seniors. The office hours allow students the option of dropping-in and asking questions regarding any number of concerns.

Office hours will be advertised soon

First Generation Faculty & Staff Alliance

There are a number of staff and faculty at GW who were First-Generation students or in their roles and lives work as allies to First-Generation students. These staff and faculty are willing to support and assist students during your time at GW; after all they know what First-Generation students are going through! Alliance members are invited to connect with students at the annual First-Generation Connect event.

Want to see where Alliance members are around campus? Look at this interactive Google Map.

FACULTY & STAFF: If you are a member of the GW family who was a First-Generation college student please fill out the following form to join our First-Generation Faculty & Staff Alliance and connect with the First-Generation students. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Brittany Abraham, at [email protected]  

Email Listserv

Information about CSE events for First-Generation students, opportunities in other offices where students can seek support, and updates from the university are shared through the listserv. As a First Generation Student, you will be automatically added to this listserv. 

Other Resources

The Store

The Store is a student-run food pantry at the George Washington University that is managed by GW Class Council and the Center for Student Engagement. Over the past couple of years, the awareness of food insecurity has increased on college campuses. Many students skip meals and go hungry because they cannot afford enough to eat. Our mission is to alleviate food insecurity at GW by offering food items to ensure that every student has enough to eat. For more information, please vist

2121 H St. NW
District House, Rm B121
Washington, DC 20052

The Multicultural Student Services Center

The Multicultural Student Services Center (MSSC) focuses its work on underrepresented undergraduate students who are racial, ethnic, and identity-based minority students. The work overlaps with graduate students, international students, and other students who develop an interest in learning around diversity and inclusion. The MSSC offers cultural heritage events, diversity training, tutoring services, and a warm welcoming atmosphere!

2127 G St. NW
Washington, DC 20052

The Office of Retention & Graduation 

TThe Office of Enrollment Management & Retention is responsible for the implementation of the recommendations in the 1998 Strategic Plan to increase undergraduate retention and graduation rates. These efforts are designed to increase GW's understanding of and to improve student retention and progress toward graduation. 

If you have questions, please contact Oliver Street, Executive Director, Enrollment Retention at 202-994-3235

714 21st St NW
Washington, DC 20052