First-Gen Warriors

Being a new college student is exciting and overwhelming. You are in a new environment with new teachers, new classmates, and new challenges. We recognize that being a First-Gen Warrior can come with additional challenges and learning experiences.

Being first-generation means you are the first person in your family to earn a bachelor’s degree. Over 3,000 undergraduates, or 39.6% of students at WSU, are First-Gen Warriors.

First-gen students, compared to students whose parents have a 4-year bachelor’s degree, are more likely to be:

  • Equally supported and encouraged by their parents
  • Transfer students
  • Female
  • Low-income
  • Juggling academics and a job
  • Commuting or living off campus 

We want you to know that you are not alone. You have access to plenty of resources, support services, and friendly faces to help you get adjusted to college life. 

First-Gen Stories
My parents support my education but there were times they couldn’t help me, because they didn’t have experience in college. My first-gen orientation class helped me understand loans, renting versus buying textbooks, joining clubs, studying abroad and many other aspects of being a college student.
Many WSU First-Gen Warriors also come from low-income families who need financial support to pay for tuition, room, board and other college expenses.
WSU Financial Aid
Students talk with donors at tables during the annual Scholarship Banquet on the WSU campus.

First-Gen Warrior Scholarship


College can bring up a lot of questions, especially for first generation students. Just know that you are not alone! We are here to help you find the answers.

Here are some frequently asked questions of new and fist-gun students. Feel free to contact us with any additional questions you may have.

It is totally normal to question your major. In fact, almost 75% of new college freshmen change their major at least once.

The process for switching your major is quite simple. You can access the Declaration/Change of Major Form online.

It depends on the major you switch to and when in your college career you officially make the switch.

For instance, if you switch from an elementary education major to a special education major, it’s more likely that you will graduate in four years because the programs are similar. Changing majors between two entirely different fields, such as from a business major to a nursing major, may take more than four years to complete your degree.

If you change your major as a freshman, you are more likely to still graduate in four years than if you waited to change your major until your junior or senior year.

However, you don’t want to hop from major to major. Switching majors multiple times make it more likely that you will need more than four years to graduate.

If you are considering changing your major, schedule an appointment with an advisor in the Warrior Success Center. An advisor can also run a degree audit (DARS) for various majors, so you can map out how long a particular major will take to complete.

If you aren’t ready to meet with an advisor and just want to explore on your own for a while, check out these resources on deciding your major.

It’s totally normal for new college students feel homesick, especially during their first year.

You can talk to your RA, a faculty member, or other students, since most first year students feel overwhelmed their first semester or even their first year.

You can also meet with an advisor in the Warrior Success Center, or talk to someone in Counseling Services.

A great strategy for overcoming homesickness is getting involved in a campus sport, club or activity.

Managing money can be a stressful part of being a college student. There is a lot of confusing language surrounding financial aid and college billing.

There are financial resources to help you develop a plan for paying for college and learn more about money management. WSU also offers WhichWay, a free way to learn more about financial aid, budgeting, getting out of debt and more.

You can always schedule an appointment with a financial expert in the Warrior Hub.

If you are interested in getting a job to help pay for college, check out Handshake. Handshake is managed by Career Services and provides job listings exclusively for WSU students — including on campus jobs.


Reach out if you have any questions about resources on campus.

Darcie Anderson (EdD)
Email Darcie Anderson
Warrior Success Center


Email the Warrior Success Center