Prospective Students

First-generation students come from families where neither parent or guardian has a four-year degree from a college or university. Students whose parents received degrees from outside the United States typically identify as first-generation. 

Here are resources and tips you can use while researching and preparing for college as a first-generation prospective student. 

  • Review UW Admissions First Generation Student Welcome page to learn more about common topics students are curious about and getting acquainted at UW.  

  • UW Admissions is also your first point of contact while you are preparing to apply. When in doubt, review resources from UW Admissions or get in contact with your Admissions Counselor.   

  • The Parent and Family Guide is an excellent for the whole family to review resources available to students at the UW. You can also use it to help you and your parents and family can support you while you navigate the university. You can view the guide here and download in several languages:  

  • If you are a prospective transfer student, you may also wish to connect with advisers and academic departments during Transfer Thursday.  

Q: Where should I go for more information about the University of Washington as a high school student? 

A: The Office of Admissions is an excellent place to start to learn about admissions information, campus life, costs and financial aid, and how you can find and create community at the University of Washington. You can also find out how to contact your Admissions Counselor if you have more to ask after exploring the online resources.  

If you’re interested in visiting the University of Washington or taking a tour, you can also find information here:  


Q: How do students find and create communities on campus? 

A: Students find and form communities in many different places on campus. Here are some examples: 

First Year Programs: 

Commuter & Transfer Commons:  

HuskyLink / Registered Student Organizations (RSOs): & 

Samuel E. Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center: 

wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ – Intellectual House:  

Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life:  

UW Recreation:  

These are just a few examples of where students find others and create community! 


Q: What can I study at UW? 

A: The full list of majors at the University of Washington can help give you an idea of the wide variety of options for pathways of study. You will also take several classes for your Areas of Inquiry as part of your General Education Requirements and have access to academic advisors and other academic resources to help you explore different options.  


Q: How can I share information about the University of Washington with my parents or family members? 

A: The Parent and Family Guide is a great place to begin conversations with your parents and family about the University of Washington, different resources and communities, and information about admissions, cost & financial aid, and more.  

First Gen Student Highlights

Jillian Fuss

Current Medical Anthropology & Global Health Student

What Being First Generation Means

As a first generation student, I’ve defined my experience as exploring a whole unknown territory. This exploration means often feeling alone, scared, and often failing while experiencing moments of triumph, success, and resilience.

Advice to current students

I encourage you to explore all areas of a field you’re interested and don’t get caught up in one singular track or pathway. Success never came to me when I overworked myself for it, in fact I had the worst grades when I did that to myself. I became successful when I started taking classes that catered to what I actually wanted to learn about and felt like it mattered.