First Generation

If you’re the first—or among the first—in your family to attend college or university, you’re considered a first generation college student. It’s a name many students embody with pride, and for a good reason: pursuing a bachelor’s degree is a powerful achievement on its own, a marker of the dedication and commitment that brought you here. While the National Center for Education Statistics indicates that 30 percent of all entering college freshmen are first generation, more than half of all Iowa Wesleyan University students identify as first generation.

While a first generation college student at Iowa Wesleyan is defined as an individual whose parents or legal guardian have not completed a bachelor’s degree, first generation students are so much more. They are trailblazers, risk takers, and pioneers.

More Than Half Of Iowa Wesleyan Students Are First Generation

The First Generation Student Experience at IW

From the moment you join the Iowa Wesleyan community to graduation, you’ll have the opportunity to attend social events, workshops, and peer mentoring and leadership activities designed with first-generation students in mind. Our first generation program has no formal membership and is available to any first generation student at IW, whether you transfer or begin your first year here.

Our program equips you to tackle every aspect of your IW journey, including:

  • Transitioning into college
  • Building community
  • Navigating your academic courses
  • Establishing self-advocacy
  • Networking in and beyond the classroom
  • Financial literacy and education

Alongside faculty, peers, and mentors who are invested in your success, our first gen program will prepare you to thrive at IW and in all your endeavors that follow.

You've Got This

And we’re here to help. As a first-generation student at Iowa Wesleyan, you’ll connect to a community that supports and empowers you academically, financially, and socially.

You'll Find a Place to Belong

Campus life includes over 30 clubs and organizations, a tight-knit residential community in a rural setting, and a campus dedicated to diversity and inclusion.

You're in Good Company

Over 50 percent of our undergraduate students are the first in their families to complete a four-year degree. And many of our faculty and staff were first-generation college students themselves. We’ll work with you and your family to help you along your journey. We know that college success is a big deal for parents too.