First Generation Students

Washington and Lee University is committed to ensuring the success of our students who are first in their family to attend college. We are here to assist you and answer any questions you may have regarding the application process, financial aid, academics, and social life.

Washington and Lee University recognizes that being the first in your family is a huge accomplishment, and we are excited to cheer you on as you as you embark on this journey. We want to ensure that you have access to all the resources and support you may need as you learn and grow with us. We are here to answer any questions you may have regarding the application process, financial aid, academics, and social life. While we offer year-round events for you and your family to learn about life at W&L and beyond, we recognize that mentors, professors, and peers can serve as valuable resources. Your faculty adviser, professors, resident adviser, peer counselor, and class deans believe in keeping their doors open and are available to talk with you. While college can present many challenges, at W&L you won't be alone.

We know parents and guardians play an important role in your life and we want equip them with the tools they need to assist you. We offer sessions for parents of first generation students during parent-orientation, our two first-year student move-in weekends, and again during parents and family weekend. The First-Year Deans (Jason Rodocker and Ronda Bryant) and Dean of Juniors & Seniors (Megan Hobbs) were first-generation students who now have graduate degrees. Please contact your class dean if you have any questions or concerns at any time or would like to be connected with other first-generation students. For first-generation programming and support please contact Heidi Bustos.

Upcoming Events

National First-Generation College Day | November 8, 2022

"I Wish Somebody Had Told Me...": Helping First-Gen Students Navigate Washington and Lee

November 8, 2022 | Leyburn 119 | 12:15 PM - 1:15 PM

For those familiar with the ins and outs of college life, attending a small liberal arts college can be a dream come true. For those less familiar with the unwritten codes of the academy, the dream can feel more like a labyrinth: confusing, even hostile. This session begins with a panel of current first-gen students describing their experiences adjusting to the culture of W&L. Next, we'll have a brief presentation on the supports and resources available to students who might find the transition to college challenging, followed by an open-ended discussion: what can we steps can we take-as individuals, but also as an institution-to make sure that all of our students can navigate the complexities of college life?

Lunch will be provided. Please sign up by November 1st to give catering a proper head count.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP! If you have trouble signing up please contact

First-Generation Alumni Panel

November 8, 2022 | James G. Leyburn Library Northen Auditorium | 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

The Office of Inclusion and Engagement in collaboration with the Harte Center is pleased to invite you all for a First-Generation Alumni Panel. We are excited to invite our first-gen alums to come talk about their experiences at W&L, adjusting to the W&L culture, navigating resources and support and their life after graduation. Join us in the James G. Leyburn Library Northen Auditorium for a reception and panel from 5:00-7:00pm on Tuesday, November 8, 2022.