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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 students taught by Biola faculty*
  • A living community in Biola’s residence hall, Alpha 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

*These program aspects are required to receive the scholarship.


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)
  • Scholarship Deadlines

    • Priority Deadline: March 15, 2024
      • Note: Majority of the applicants will be selected from the priority pool.
    • Final Deadline: April 15, 2024

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)

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)


If I am planning to attend Biola in the spring, can I apply to the  FirstGen Scholars Program in the spring semester?

At this time we only have scholarship funding for the fall semester admitted students. However, if you decide to attend Biola in the fall, then you are welcome to apply to our scholarship.

How is this different from other scholarships?

This scholarship goes beyond financial support, the FirstGen Scholars is unique to providing first-generation students with academic resources, mentorship, community support and a financial scholarship to support overall college success.

Is this only for my first year of college or all four years?

No, the FirstGen Scholarship is renewable on an annual basis contingent upon following the above requirements. For students who are in 5-year programs such as nursing or music, the scholarship will extend through their fifth year. The FirstGen scholarship is not applied for during semesters of student teaching, as this is considered graduate-level work nor online bachelor’s programs.

Do I have to live in Alpha Hall if I am planning to live on campus?

Yes, we hope to build a strong sense of community within the FirstGen Scholars program which is key to your success at Biola. Your success is why this living community in Alpha Hall has been created. However, if you have any questions or concerns please contact

Do I have to take the BBST 103 Biblical Interpretation and Spiritual Formation FirstGen cohort course?

Yes, this is a requirement. However, we understand that certain academic programs may have class conflicts with the time the BBST 103 Biblical Interpretation class is scheduled. If you have an academic conflict or work conflict, please reach out to us at

What if I don’t know if I am going to Biola for certain?

We still encourage you to apply before March 15, even if you are unsure about attending Biola University.