Skip To Content Skip To Menu Skip To Footer

Scholarships for First-Generation Students

Ways to Fund a First-Generation Scholarship and Support Programming for First-Generation College Students 

When you combine the benefits of a Dickinson education with the work ethic and positive attitude of a first-gen, that’s a powerful combination. ... That’s just the kind of engaged citizen-leaders we need in our world today.” —Robert Steele ‘02  

I will be the first person in my family to graduate from college. Without your contributions, I would not be here. You’ve made an impact not just on me but on my sister, my family, and all the people that I will meet afterward.”—Jasmin Lopez ’19  

At Dickinson, first-generation students are those who are the first members of their family to pursue a four-year college degree. Your scholarship support for first-generation students keeps Dickinson accessible for those of limited means who often have limited experience with higher education. Your gift ensures that our high-impact education is available to students based on their potential, not their wealth, and creates a ripple effect that spreads far and wide. You change an individual’s life as well as the lives of that individual’s family members. You help create future difference makers who will use their Dickinson education to positively impact the college, their communities and the wider world. In a society with increasing inequality, your scholarship for first-generation students helps level the playing field.  

Simply by entering college, first-generation college students have already proven that they are resourceful and visionary, and as a group they are more likely than the average student to persist and graduate within four years.  

Dickinson has two programs that support first-gen students. The ACE (Academic and Co-Curricular Excellence) Peer Mentoring Program is an engagement, development and support program for select first-year students from underrepresented populations who are paired with a trained upper-class mentor. Trendsetters (a student-run initiative formed in 2017), provides academic and social support and a sense of community to first-generation college students.  

Whether your interest is in supporting scholarships or programming—or both—there are multiple ways to change a life and change the world by helping first-generation college students. 


As Jasmin's story shows, scholarship giving can have a far-reaching impact. When you change the life of a student, you also change the lives of everyone whom that student impacts. In this way, when you change a life through schoalrships, you truly change the world.


If you would like to explore establishing a scholarship fund, please call 800-543-3809 or email

If you would like to support scholarships through the Dickinson Fund, make your gift online and choose “Scholarships” as the designation, call 800-543-3809 or email