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First-Generation Students

Proud to Be First

At UD, first-generation students, coming from a wide swath of cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds, comprise a record 20% of the freshman class. Former President Thomas S. Hibbs, Ph.D., BA ’82 MA ’83, and a number of faculty and staff are first-generation college graduates.

On this page, we have collected resources to help our first-generation students, who are pioneers in their families on this college journey, to flourish at UD.

A first-generation college student is defined as a student whose parent(s)/legal guardian(s) have not completed a bachelor's degree in the United States.

First-Gen in the News

September 17, 2021
"A New Precedent: UD's Freshman Class Brings in an Astounding 47% of Minorities"
Constantin Foundation Scholarships support Campus-Wide Peer Support System 

August 23, 2021
"First-Gen Ambassadors Serve as Support for All UD Students"
Constantin Foundation Scholarships support Campus-Wide Peer Support System 

July 1, 2021
"Parents Establish First-Generation Scholarship to Support Future Seekers of Truth, Beauty, Goodness"
Kagan Family Endows Scholarship for First-Generation Students 

May 10, 2021
"An Education for a Better Life"
Donors Endow Scholarship for First-Generation Students Honoring Longtime Dallas Pastor

October 28, 2020
"A Generation of First Generation Students"
Profiles of UD First-Gen Students and Faculty in The University News

Aug. 27, 2020
First Generation Cohort: Paving a Liberal Pursuit
New Constantin Scholars Complete Bridge to First Fall Semester at UD

Aug. 17, 2020
First Generation Cohort: Paving a Liberal Pursuit
Eye on the Helpers: Politics Major Applies Truth Practically


Constantin Scholars: UD's Summer Bridge Program for Incoming First Generation Students from Texas

We are gratefull to the Constantin Foundation for providing funding to support a Summer Bridge Program for incoming First Generation Students from Texas. To meet our recent Constantin Scholars, click here

Constantin First Generation Student Scholarship

We are gratefull to the Constantin Foundation for providing scholarship support to First Generation Students from Texas who attend the University of Dallas. The Spring application is not open. You can apply by clicking here. 

Former President Thomas S. Hibbs and Dr. Stacey Hibbs First-Generation Scholarship
Former President Thomas S. Hibbs and Dr. Stacey Hibbs established this scholarship on the occasion of Former President Hibbs' inauguration. The scholarship honors Former President Hibbs' own path to college as a first-generation college student and makes a UD education more affordable for first-generation students to come.

See More Scholarship Opportunities

Small Groups

Who Leads Small Groups?

This program begins with our Peer Mentors, all of whom are first-generation college students. Peer Mentors will be in charge of a small group consisting of 4-6 students. Small-group participants are mostly underclassmen, but there is no regulation as to who may join. Students from all grades are welcome and encouraged to join the program as well. This program was created to cultivate a sense of community around new students at UD, in order to help them integrate into college life as seamlessly as possible. 

We chose to offer our leadership positions to first-generation college students for a reason. There is a clear discrepancy between the success rates of students whose parents attended college and those whose parents did not. We want to fill that gap, and offering students leadership positions will help them realize their potential.

What are Small Group Main Meetings?

The main meeting aspect of this program consists of two parts: group meetings and office hours. 

Peer mentors will be asked to hold 2 office hours each week. These office hours will be held at the location of the peer mentors’ choosing. Peer mentors will also coordinate and host 2 small group meetings each semester.  

The purpose of the main meetings is to offer the small group participants a chance to build genuine and trusting relationships with their peer mentors. Our mentors are not necessarily themselves the experts, but they are fully equipped to guide their students to any campus resources that they may need.

What are Small Group Socials?

Small-Group Socials are planned and coordinated by our peer mentors. They are  opportunities for all students at UD to get to know faculty and staff across the University so they know where to go when their needs arise and so that they are comfortable doing so because they know the people in the offices. Socials will likely include faculty from across disciplines and staff from offices such as Financial Aid, OPCD, OSA, Counseling, and the Registrar.

Peer mentors will collaborate with the Office of Academic Success and other offices to plan and advertise socials. Every student is welcome to join, but small group participants are highly encouraged to attend for their own benefit. These socials are meant to encourage social interactions between students and different members of departments on campus. Socials will include things like a game night with campus ministry, lunch with OPCD, or movie night with the librarians.

What are Small Group Checkpoints?

Checkpoints are an aspect of the program created to encourage students to participate in campus activities. QR codes to an online checkpoint form will be posted around campus so that small group participants can check when they have attended social and academic events on campus (things like going to the writing lab, visiting office hours,  attending formal, going to a sporting event). As participants collect checkpoints, they will receive rewards for their participation–such as Capp Bar gift cards and campus swag.

How do Small Group Members get involved in the Community?

All small group participants are encouraged to do community service, and we are happy to help them find opportunities in the DFW area. 

Small-Group Leader Application Form

Small Group Participant Application Form

Small Group Participant Feedback Form

Constantin Scholars Program

First Gen Stories

Jessica Quiroz, BA '23

Social Media

UDFirstGen    udfirstgen    UDacadsuccess


Check out these study tips from the Office of Academic Success, and more!

COVID - 19

Here is general COVID-19 information for on-campus learning and living. 

National Resources

I'm First!

I’m First!, an initiative of Strive for College, is an online community celebrating first-generation college students. Check out video stories from first-gen students, read student blogs and discover colleges that have special programs to support their first-gen students. We feature YouTube video testimonials from first-gen students and graduates from across the country.

Are You A First-Generation Student?

The Center for First-generation Student Success serves as the premiere source of evidence-based practices, professional development, and knowledge creation for the higher education community to advance the success of first-generation students. This means that we help colleges and universities help you succeed as a first-generation college student. While we do not offer direct support to first-generation students in high school, college, or university, we want to help you navigate and locate more information.