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 nor guardian has obtained a four-year degree. Being the first generation in your family to pursue a bachelor's degree is a proud accomplishment. We see "first-gen" students as courageous trailblazers and pioneers as they set out to accomplish something that hasn't been modeled or done in their family. Consequently, we recognize that first-gen students may face unique obstacles in finding and navigating the academic, social, cultural, and financial resources within higher education. These are barriers the First-Generation Initiative seeks to address and help students overcome. 

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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