• First-generation students at Chapman University.
Undergraduate Admission

First-Generation Applicants

» First-Generation Applicants

Being the first person in your family to graduate college is an amazing accomplishment, and Chapman is proud to help you get there.

Being a first-generation college student means you are a student whose parent(s)/legal guardian(s) have not completed a bachelor’s degree. 

On this page, you’ll find resources you have access to as a first-gen student for the Chapman application process and beyond.


of Chapman undergraduates are first generation


approximate first-generation undergraduate population


retention rate for first-gen undergraduate students

Finding the right school and applying for admission

We're here to help you navigate the admission process and find the right school for you.

If you have questions about applying or college in general, your assigned admission counselor is always a great resource for personalized advice and support. 

In addition, many of our admission team members are first-generation themselves and are happy to assist students who are the first in their family to graduate college.

Kurt Horney '24
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology & Dance double major
“As a first-gen student, I have felt so welcomed by the Chapman community. My professors have been helpful with finding me resources on campus and encouraging me to join clubs and get more involved - like getting research experience and studying abroad in New Zealand!”

Financing your education fjg-chapman-3987-1.jpg

We aim to make a Chapman education affordable for all qualified students—including first-generation students.

Your financial aid award can include a significant amount of merit and need-based aid. In addition, we offer awards specifically for first-generation students. These awards can usually be combined with other aid received:

Outside scholarships

Unless otherwise noted, these scholarships are open to all first-gen students pursuing higher education. While the scholarship amounts vary, they can cover up to the full tuition cost and mandatory fees at Chapman and most other colleges.

Details of each scholarship are subject to change, so make sure to check the scholarship's website for the most up-to-date details.

  • The Coca-Cola Scholars Program Scholarship: Awarded to graduating high school seniors who are expecting to receive a high school diploma during the current academic year. 
    • Application available in August of your senior year.
    • Application deadline: October 31 
  • Gates Millenium Scholars: Awarded to African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian Pacific Islander American, and Hispanic American high school seniors who plan to pursue an undergraduate college education in any discipline area of interest.
    • Application period: August to January
  • Jack Kent Cooke Foundation College Scholarship Program: Awarded to graduating high school seniors with financial need who plan to enroll in an accredited four-year college beginning in fall.
    • Application available in August of your senior year.
    • Application deadline: November 16


Chapman first-gen programs and activities

These programs are open to all undergraduate students who are the first in their families to attend college, and will help you prepare for a successful transition into your college experience. 

  • Summer Bridge: A pre-semester orientation that is designed to support your transition to the university and introduce you to the larger first-generation community. The program involves workshops from campus support services, insight and tips from current first-gen students, community-building activities, and lots of fun. 
  • Promising Futures: A program that offers monthly workshops, weekly study sessions, and social events, among other activities.  
  • We CU! Mentorship program: A program that allows you to choose a mentor on campus to help you learn more about Chapman and navigate university life. Mentors can be faculty, staff or other students.
  • First Gen Ambassadors: A student organization that provides peer-to-peer mentoring to current first-generation students, and host socials for the larger first-gen community.
  • First-Gen Graduation: A special graduation ceremony open to graduating first-gen students, their families and the larger Chapman first-gen community. This important event is an opportunity to reflect and celebrate your journey and success as a first-gen college student.
7 Tips for First-Gen Students
First-gen students Victor Jacinto ‘23 and Clarissa Cordova ‘20 found a community at Chapman. Read their tips to see how you can find yours and make use of all the resources you’ll have as a first-gen student.

First-gen study abroad opportunities

Studying abroad doesn't need to delay your graduation, and can be affordable. At Chapman you can choose to go abroad for a semester, full year, or a travel course, which are shorter and held over the winter or summer terms. Tuition is often waived for travel courses! 

Chapman also offers study abroad scholarships to select first-generation students. You can find more details on the First-Generation Students Abroad page.


Ask a Student

Still have questions? Our student ambassadors are here to help, and many are first-gen students themselves. Feel free to reach out!

Are you a current first-gen student at Chapman?

 First-generation programs logo

This page is for incoming first-generation students. For current-student info, head to our current first-gen page.

A First-Gen Forward Institution

 First Gen Forward logo

The Promising Futures is proud to be recognized as a First-Gen Forward Institution by the Center for First-Generation Student Success, an initiative of NASPA and the Suder Foundation.

Follow Promising Futures Program on Instagram

Follow Promising Futures Program for updates on the first-generation student experience at Chapman:

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Contact Admission

Email us:

Call us: (714) 997-6711

Text us: (714) 942-5474

Send your documents:
Chapman University
Attn: Office of Admission
One University Drive 
Orange, CA 92866

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