One of the primary barriers that prevents students from completing their college education is financial hardship—specifically, a lack of financial aid.
The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) recently conducted a study that reported 59% of first-generation college students had expressed concern about their ability to pay for the upcoming term, compared with 32% of their peers who are not the first in their family to attend college.
In an effort to support students who face this hardship, Central Washington University awarded approximately 700 scholarships totaling nearly $1.4 million in support last fiscal year. Included in this funding was a generous gift from the Coca-Cola Foundation, which will be directed to supporting first-generation students.
Coca-Cola First-Generation Scholarship
Since 2015, the Coca-Cola Foundation has granted CWU $250,000 to provide support to underrepresented or disadvantaged first-generation students through the Coca-Cola First-Generation Scholarship.
“As a first-generation student, I am leading by example that college is no longer a dream, but a reachable goal,” 2020 graduate Ivan Morales said. “Receiving the prestigious Coca-Cola Scholarship not only relieves a financial burden, but it also encourages me to continue to push forward knowing that I have the support of the organization.”
In 2021, 45% of first-year students and 44% of transfer students at CWU were the first in their families to attend college.
Several generous donors have created scholarships at Central that give preference to first-generation students, and we thank them for their support.
Many of the hundreds of scholarships available at CWU are targeted toward upperclassmen. As we look to the future, we are creating a plan to help first-year and first-generation students receive the funding they need to succeed.
Scholarship applications are now open for funding in the 2023-24 academic year. Encourage the students you know to learn more about available scholarships and encourage them to apply for support today at cwu.awardspring.com.
If you are interested in creating a scholarship in your name, or in memory of a loved one, please contact Kenneth Shook, Director of Development, at 206-600-4151 or Kenneth.Shook@cwu.edu.
To learn more about scholarships at CWU and how to apply for funding, please visit cwu.edu/scholarships.