Since 2006, FIU has proudly awarded more than 14,400 scholarships to first-generation students.
In fiscal year 19-20, the First Generation Scholarship Program awarded over $1,772,931 in scholarships to 824 students, while 7,179 students 88.5% did not receive funding. Since federal aid does not fully meet the financial need of the FIU’s students, scholarship support significantly reduces their economic burden. This increases retention and graduation rates, enabling FIU to meet the increasing demand for minority professionals.
In addition, the first-generation population demonstrates an incredible amount of unmet need after completing their financial aid application. Unmet need is the difference between the financial need and the financial aid offer to the student. This amount is added to the Expected Family Contribution to calculate what the student or the family would be responsible for paying. The total unmet need for the eligible first-generation population of academic year (19-20) (8,003 students) is $72,876.246, which exceeds the university’s aid budget.
Each year, first-generation students get admitted to the university without knowing if they can afford tuition. Students make decisions, such as to obtain multiple jobs or even to drop out, due to significant financial barriers. These students miss opportunities to study abroad, take an internship, or participate in research, because they are balancing their coursework with a job and family responsibilities. By increasing the amount of scholarships awarded, the university is able to help these students have a more complete college experience and successfully complete a degree.
FIU has a long and illustrious track record of providing educational opportunities to underprepared middle and high school students from South Florida’s urban communities, with a focus on students who are low income and the first generation in their families to pursue a college education. Administered by various units including the Office of Pre-Collegiate Programs and Grants, the university’s comprehensive and robust array of services and activities designed to address the needs of underserved students distinguishes FIU as a leader in the region’s efforts to prepare first-generation students for academic success.
I’m thankful for the First Generation Scholarship and am blessed to have found an institution like FIU that has helped me accomplish my dream to get a degree and have a better job and opportunities in life. FIU provides the tools, and I would not have access to them if it weren’t for the scholarship supporters’ generosity and commitment.Clara Ardon ’13, Accounting
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