First Generation Award

Each year, the First Generation Award (FGA) application opens on October 1st and the deadline to apply is March 1st. PLEASE NOTE: Students are only eligible to apply upon initial admission/enrollment to the University. Currently enrolled CSU students are not eligible to apply.

The First Generation Award Program is an extremely competitive process, with hundreds of applicants each year, and a limited number of awards available. CSU funds 75 awards per year and there can be additional donor funded awards based on the application year. The award amount is $6,500 annually, and is contingent upon full-time enrollment at the Fort Collins campus during both the fall and spring semesters of the academic year. The award carries the possibility of renewal for up to 5 years.


The purpose of the program is to encourage participation in higher education by first generation college students who have significant financial need (as defined by standard calculations based on financial aid application information), and to promote diversity within the University’s student population.

CSU defines a “first generation college student” as someone whose parents/guardians have not completed a bachelor’s degree. Siblings do not impact how CSU defines first generation.  “Diversity” includes persons with diverse social/economic backgrounds and experiences who have traditionally been excluded in higher education; and includes, but is not limited to, ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities (including both physical or learning), and those with experience in or a commitment to promoting an awareness or appreciation of diversity.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to receive a First Generation Award, applicants must:

  • Be a first generation student (someone whose parents/guardians have not completed a bachelor’s degree).
  • Be a newly admitted student in a degree program at Colorado State University-Fort Collins campus by March 1st and enroll at CSU the following summer or fall.  (We recommend that you apply for admission by the priority application filing date)  *Note: Currently enrolled students, full-time CSU Online students, and/or CSU-Global students are not eligible to apply.*
  • Student has not previously earned a bachelor’s degree.
  • Demonstrate potential for academic success (as reflected by a high school or transfer Grade Point Average).
  • Document financial need according to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at;  OR the Colorado Application for State Financial Aid (CASFA);  OR CSU Institutional Aid Application
  • Be a legal resident of Colorado; OR can be classified as an in-state resident for tuition purposes in accordance with the Colorado ASSET Bill, Senate Bill 13-033; OR be eligible to receive the Native American Legacy Award ( 
  • Plan to enroll full-time at Colorado State University, Fort Collins campus each semester until degree is complete. Full-time enrollment implies that a student is enrolled in at least 12 regular on-campus credits per semester. (Students may be awarded who are entering in summer 2022; however, funds are disbursed only for the fall and spring semesters.  The award is not available for new students entering the spring 2022 semester.)
  • Be a U.S. citizen; OR an eligible noncitizen (see FAFSA at for description of eligible noncitizen); OR be classified as an in-state student for tuition purposes in accordance with the Colorado ASSET Bill, Senate Bill 13-033.someone whose parents/guardians have not completed a bachelor’s degree

Application Requirements

The First Generation Award application is available through your RamWeb beginning October 1st and will close on March 1st.

A complete application consists of the First Generation Award Application, including essay responses. Students can access the application by logging into the CSU Scholarship Application (CSUSA) which is linked in RamWeb.

Additionally, to complete the First Generation Award Application process, students must complete a financial aid application. 

  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), at by March 1 of the year you plan to enroll. List Colorado State University as a school choice to receive the results of your FAFSA. Our school code is 001350. Submit any additional documents requested by the Office of Financial Aid as soon as possible. 
  • If you are instead eligible under the Colorado ASSET Bill, the completed Colorado Application for State Financial Aid (CASFA) is due by March 1 of the year you plan to enroll. See your, Financial Aid Requirements page for further information or contact the Office of Financial Aid with questions at (970) 491-6321.

Incomplete applications will NOT be considered. You may or may not be notified that your application is incomplete until the selection process is over, so we recommend that you check your application carefully to be sure it is complete prior to submitting it to the University.

Please visit the First Generation Award Program FAQs for more detailed information

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