A look into Linfield’s First-Gen Program


Lili Garcia, Freshman, First-Gen Scholar

“First-gen” students have a uniquely Linfield experience through The First Scholars program. 

This scholarship program is designed to assist first-generation college students as they navigate their way through their freshman year. Students are eligible if their  parents did not receive a bachelor’s degree.

Through this program, students are assisted by faculty and peers to ensure they achieve the highest degree of success. With many scholarship opportunities, students are able to get the financial support they need.

Of the entire student body at Linfield, over a quarter are first-generation students. 

Lili Garcia, a freshman, describes what her life at Linfield has been like with the support of this program along with how her experience has been.

“Being a first-gen student has been rewarding in that I have a lot of help from Linfield’s first-gen program to help the whole transition into college,” Garcia said. “It is nice to not only have a faculty member as a mentor, but also a student at Linfield who has gone through the same things I have.”

Being a freshman in college with no idea what to expect can be very intimidating. 

“At first it was a little scary, I didn’t know many people and was homesick, but Linfield provides a lot of support to first-gen students. The transition got easier, and you learn to know that a majority of the students here are also first gen, so you’re definitely not alone,” Garcia added.  “Overall I’d say that my experience has been great, the meetings are beneficial, and they also provide a lot of goodies as a bonus.”

Lynzie Torres, a freshman as well, also speaks about how this program has been beneficial towards her experience at Linfield.

“This program has helped me with feeling comfortable being here. It’s helped me meet new friends that are also going through this program, but most importantly, it’s made me feel like I belong to something that people care about and want to see succeed,” Torres said.

The first gen program isn’t only for freshmen either. Andrew Vera, a junior transfer student, is also a part of the first gen program. Vera, from California, was studying at Universidad Internacional de Andalucía, in Sevilla, Andalucía, Spain, for his freshman and sophomore years. When he decided he wanted to transfer, Linfield was his final choice.

“Spain was a complete cultural shift compared to here. The way the people, the college, and the country operated was completely different. They have a more relaxed mindset and lifestyle compared to the US,” Vera explained. “My world felt so big since coming to Linfield, it’s been a more grounded feeling here. It’s a smaller college so I get more of a community feel to it. With that being said, I feel like there’s an established support system that is pushing me to succeed here.”

The First Scholars Program is designed to strengthen students’ confidence when taking that first step into college and give them a sense of community.