Colorado State University Scholarship Program Provides Support for First-Generation Students

A Colorado State University scholarship program that has helped hundreds of students, the first generation of their families to go to college, welcomes applications from incoming freshmen and transfer students.

The First Generation Award program provides scholarships to Colorado residents who are the first generation of their families to earn a bachelor’s degree. Applicants must be newly admitted to Colorado State in a degree program and must demonstrate financial need. For application information, call the Office of Financial Aid at (970) 491-6321. Applications are due April 1, and awards will be announced in early summer for the 1999-2000 school year.

Since the First Generation Award program was created 15 years ago, it has awarded $7.7 million to 1,205 students.

"The First-Generation Award program provides opportunities to educational pioneers who demonstrate significant financial need," said Barb Musslewhite, award program coordinator. "Since the award is renewable from year to year, first-generation scholars can receive financial support and referrals to available student services throughout their college careers."

The award recipient group has been composed of students from all ethnic backgrounds, and has included students with disabilities and non-traditional age students.

"This award recognizes that family income and parents’ educational achievement play a role in an individual’s chances for reaching college and completing a degree," said Musslewhite. "Research shows that, for the child of parents who have completed a bachelor’s degree, the chance of reaching college is 84 percent. This is more than three times higher than the rate for a first-generation college student. Given these statistics, it is especially important for the university to assist first-generation students."

In a recent survey of award recipients, 87 percent of respondents said the First-Generation Scholarship Award played an important role in their decision to enroll at Colorado State. When asked about their decision to continue from semester to semester at Colorado State, 11.8 percent of respondents said the award was one of several important factors, 41.2 percent said it was a major consideration and 39.2 percent indicated that it was a decisive factor in their decision to continue at the university.