First-generation students thrive on the hilltop!

St. Edward’s has a proud history of championing students who are the first in their families to earn a college degree. We’re dedicated to helping you make the most of college.

Today, nearly one third of Hilltoppers are first-generation students, and many of our faculty, staff and university leaders are the first in their families to go to college — including St. Edward’s University President Montserrat Fuentes. Their contributions to our community are a vital part of the success of St. Edward’s and our mission to create a more just and inclusive world.

33% of our undergrads are first-generation students.

President Fuentes with a graduating first-generation student

Your hilltop community is here for you.

At St. Edward’s, you’re part of a vibrant and welcoming campus family where everyone is valued. Professors, advisors, coaches and peers will guide and mentor you throughout your college experience, and our entire community will support your success.

Check out the campus programs, events and resources on this webpage that support and celebrate our first-generation students. We’re here to help you navigate college and achieve your dreams.


First-Gen Scholars Week

Join your St. Edward’s family in celebrating the accomplishments and success of our first-generation students, faculty and staff. Take part in a week of fun and informative activities that culminates on First-Gen Scholars Day, a full day of festivities and recognition. See photo highlights from our past events in our Instagram carousel and catch our CBS News highlight.

Students celebrate First-to-GOat first generation week


Challenge, Triumph & Living Her Dream

Read about one first-gen Hilltopper's remarkable journey to Stanford University and earning her PhD. Victoria Rodriguez ’11 embraced every opportunity as the first in her family to graduate from college.