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First-Generation College Institute

Check back later for 2022 details!

Talented, high-achieving and intellectually curious rising high school sophomores who identify as first-generation are invited to apply to participate in the FGCI on Virginia Tech's Blacksburg Virginia campus.

  • 2022 details are not available yet, please check back later.
  • All  FGCI programs are free of cost to students!
  • Students must arrange their own transportation to and from the Virginia Tech, Blacksburg campus.

The First-Generation College Institute (FGCI) is a free three-day residential program designed to increase college student diversity, promote student empowerment, build community through service, and help students develop a college and/or career plan. Research confirms that many students from first-generation and lower income families struggle with a difficult transition from high school to college. Our program will provide resources that will enhance the success of first-generation students as they prepare to attend college. Our program will also strengthen inclusion in the local community and encourage volunteerism among first-generation students.


The mission of First-Generation Student Support is to advance first-generation student success through partnerships that contribute to academic success, leadership development, and through services that build community, increase student engagement and promote retention. First-Generation Student Support creates an environment for first-generation students that welcomes diverse ideas and cultures that promotes lifelong learning, instills values and cultivates a strong academic identity.

Benefits of attending FGCI

  • Student engagement with various academic disciplines through hands-on learning and workshops within the context of the first-generation student experience.
  • College life experiences of residential living, campus dining, collaborative projects in university classrooms and engagement with Virginia Tech's faculty, staff, and students.
  • Daily workshops on (1) navigating and completing the college application process and (2) applying for scholarships and financial aid.
  • Students embrace the Virginia Tech motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve) by completing a service learning project with university and local partnerships.
  • Explore Virginia Tech departments and organizations to build lasting connections and learn about local resources available to them. 
  • Learn about local resources available to them.
  • Engage in fun team building activities in our cultural, recreational, and student centers.

Dates and Deadlines

Application closes: TBD

Notification of acceptance: TBD

Confirm attendance: TBD

Unofficial Transcripts due: TBD


  1. Must be a rising sophomore in high school
  2. Must be a first-generation student
  3. Must have a 2.75 or above grade point average (GPA)
  4. Must have an interest in attending Virginia Tech
  5. Must be highly motivated and academically curious


  • FGCI can accommodate 70 students.
  • Preference is given to first-generation students.
  • Preference is given to students showing interest or aptitude in a current degree granting program offered at Virginia Tech through academic or extracurricular activities.
  • Students will be notified of final decisions by e-mail on April 10.

Application Requirements

  • Personal information
  • Contact information
  • Demographic information
  • Family information
  • High school information
  • Awards/ Recognitions (if available)
  • Extracurricular Activities, jobs or any community involvement.
  • PSAT or SAT/ACT scores (if available)
  • Academics
    • Students will self-report their GPA and the current core classes enrolled in (English, Math, Science, History).
  • One short essay
    • Essay 1 - Essay Question: This program is for high achieving academically curious first-generation students who are interested in learning more about the college experience. Please indicate why you should be selected for this program. (120 word max)


What to Pack

  • Sheets, pillowcase, pillow and blanket (twin bed)
  • Comfortable shoes for walking
  • Closed toed shoes or sneakers - some of the spaces we will be entering require shoes with closed toes.
  • Rain gear – please bring an umbrella just in case of rain.
  • Business attire - 2 sets
  • Also, here is a guide on business casual attire from our Career and Professional Development department.
  • Casual clothing - 5 sets
  • Exercise clothing - we will go to the Recreation Center at least one evening.
  • Snacks - please refrain from bringing snacks with any type of nuts.
  • Any necessary medications
  • Wash cloth and towel (2 sets for each day)
  • Toiletries including soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, comb/brush, shower-cap, hair products, shower shoes, sunscreen
  • Phone chargers - please do not bring laptops/ipads/tablets or other expensive items
  • Baseball hat or cap

First-Generation College Institute is co-sponsored by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, College Access Collaborative, and First-Generation Student Support.

Questions? Contact

First-Generation News