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What can I expect from the FirstGen Scholars Program?

Students who apply and are selected for the FirstGen Scholars Program will be awarded a $3,000 scholarship and will engage in a yearlong program that includes the following:

  • An engaging one-week summer bridge program in the month of August
  • A Bible course with fellow FirstGen Scholars taught by Dr. Leon Harris*
  • A living community in Biola’s newest residence hall, Blackstone Hall, on the same floor with other first­-generation students (if you plan to live on campus)*
  • A peer or faculty/staff mentor during your first year*
  • Monthly community building events and college success workshops
  • Events for parent(s)/guardian(s), family members and friends

*These program aspects are required to receive the scholarship.

Due to my own experience as a first-generation student, I am quite excited to share my experiences with all first­-generation students. My desire is to see all first­-generation students succeed and have a fruitful university experience."

Dr. Leon Harris
Assistant Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies
  • Scholarship Deadlines

    • March 15 — Priority deadline
      • Note: The majority of our scholarships will be granted from this applicant pool.
    • April 15 — Application closes

How do I become a FirstGen Scholar?

To be eligible for the FirstGen Scholars Program, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be an incoming student who is in the first generation of your family to attend college (i.e., neither parent completed a bachelor’s degree).
  • File the FAFSA or the California Dream Act application and demonstrate need verified by Biola's Financial Aid Office.
  • Complete a scholarship application for the FirstGen Scholars Program and be selected as a recipient.
  • State your commitment to participate in the requirements for the FirstGen Scholars Program listed above.

To learn more about the scholarship, visit the Undergraduate Financial Aid Scholarship page.


Meet First Generation Alumni

Angelina Orozco

As a first generation college student, I remember feeling anxious and afraid. “What if I don’t fit in? What if I don’t make any friends?” Four years later, I wish I could tell my 18-year old self that attending Biola was truly the best decision I could ever make!"

Angelina Orozco (’20)

Derjuan Jacocks

The FirstGen program is one of the reasons why I was able to graduate college. From the community you build to the mentorship, it’s simply amazing! College helps prepare you to grow, and FirstGen taught me that and gave me experiences to lean on for life."

Derjuan Jacocks (’20)

Jane Juarez

A Biola education to me means learning amongst a solid community who has shared my same struggles. With being a first generation college student came a lot of confusion and fear, but through departments such as FirstGen, I received a space to name my doubts and showed me how I was not alone in the journey."

Jane Juarez (’20)