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F1RST Fund

The F1RST Fund was started in the fall of 2023 by private donors that support the personal and professional growth of First Generation IWU students. These funds will go directly to a First Generation student participating in study abroad, completing an internship, or conducting undergraduate research. These "high-impact practices" are sometimes out of reach for First Gen students due to a lack of financial or social capital. The F1RST Fund is a way for First Gen to access all the opportunities available to IWU students.

If you are a student, this fund will be open to applications three times per year for use during summer, fall, and spring. Current students can apply by April 15, 2024 with this form for summer 2024. A panel of faculty and staff will review applications and make a decision by April 21. 

Potential donors can make a gift at any time at this IWU Giving page and writing "F1RST Fund" under "Other designation." The more funds we raise, the more students we can support. If you would like to engage with our First Generation students through mentoring, providing job shadowing, or sharing your First Gen story, please reach out to us. Our goal is to build this network of First Gen connections. 

IWU F1RST is a cross-campus team of students, staff, and faculty that recognize the strengths and challenges of being a First Generation student. We provide resources and support as students navigate this critically important journey to being part of the first generation of their family to graduate with a four-year degree. IWU is at its best because of our First Generation students and we strive to be the best choice for First Generation students making an important choice about their future. Our F1RST Fund is one of many ways we invest in our First Generation students. 

Contact Deborah Halperin ( about IWU F1RST and the F1RST Fund