First-Generation Initiative

First-Generation Initiative (FGI) was established in 2019 to ensure academic success for first-generation SMU students, or those who are the first in their family to attend a postsecondary institution.

We're here to support you.


A first-generation student is a student where neither parent or guardian obtained a four-year degree. They could have a parent or guardian who completed a degree non-traditionally later in life, never attended college, or obtained a degree internationally. Similarly, their guardians may have little or no experience or access to the resources for navigating the academic, financial, and cultural barriers within higher education. These are barriers we seek to address and help students overcome with our initiative. Being a first-generation college student is a proud accomplishment.

If you are a first-generation student, we want to welcome you. SMU recognizes the unique experiences you will have as you begin (or continue) this exciting journey on the Hilltop.

Someone providing guidance to a student

Come Chat With Us

Meet with the Director of the First-Gen Initiative for academic counseling, scholarship exploration, campus resource awareness, friendly chats, conflict coaching, processing difficult situations, becoming fearless, or anything else. We also provide SMU-specific and national resources available to support you and other first-generation college students.

Ultimate College Terminology Reference Guide

Whether you are a parent or student, college terminology can sometimes seem like a different language. We've created a glossary for you that may help you acclimate to frequently used words on SMU's campus!



The First-Generation Movement at SMU

A brief overview of FGI at SMU featuring staff/faculty and First-Generation Association, SMU's first-generation student organization.

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