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First-Generation Student Support
Empower our first-generation students by helping to meet their unique needs!

First-generation students are the first in their immediate families to graduate from college. While this is a prestigious honor, without a foundational path being set before them, first-generation students forge their own pathways to success often with unique struggles inherent to their situation. They face challenges that other students don't face and are statistically less likely to graduate. A recent study conducted by Pew Research found that students without a parent possessing at least a bachelor's degree lag behind their peers with graduation rates 44% lower (70% graduation for those with parents possessing a bachelor's+ and 26% for those without). Roughly 30% of Radford University's current student population are first-gen. We believe for our first-gen students, factors that threaten their graduation are related to their perceived sense of belonging on-campus, their ability to locate and utilize essential resources, and their ability to make their education their own by exploring deeper into their field of study.

The newly established Center for Opportunity and Social Mobility endeavors to provide meaningful solutions to these challenges to ensure our first-generation students develop a genuine sense of belonging, success, and achievement at Radford University. But we can't do it without you! You can help our brave and inspired first-generation students do more than complete a college education. When you make a gift to support this initiative, you help our students thrive and broaden their education beyond basic academic requirements. Additionally, you help our students connect with vital resources as well as link with others who share similar backgrounds to help them build and expand their own, personal Radford Family. 

Donations to this initiative help the Center for Opportunity and Social Mobility begin to build resources to fund these important academic and professional enrichment activities for our first-generation students: 

Course Materials and Supplies

Unexpected additional expenses that aren’t covered by a student’s financial aid package or book voucher.

Graduate/Professional School Application Fees

We would like to make funding available for graduate/professional school application fees. Prior to requesting funding, we ask that you first seek a waiver from the university for which you are applying.

Emergent Needs

Due to circumstances beyond their control, first-generation students often find themselves in urgent need of financial resources to support basic needs. Your gift today could help us meet these needs.

Travel Reimbursement

Students who have a career development opportunity such as (but not limited to) interviews for job, internship, or professional graduate school, or students attending a professional development conference may apply to receive funding to cover at least a portion of the travel expenses necessary to make the opportunity possible. 

Study Abroad

This funding will provide reimbursement to help alleviate some costs related to study abroad, global research and internship program, or the national student exchange. Please note the study abroad application fee and deposit cannot be covered by this funding.

Tri-Alpha Honor Society Lifetime Membership Dues

Funding is available to help cover the cost of the $10 fee for students. This fee is used to cover national office, plus local chapter fees.



Most Donors Challenge
The project that garners the most donors by 5:10 pm on November 30 will receive an extra $1,000!
Rank Prize Projects Donors
1 $1,000 Esports Program 164
2 Student Emergency Support 43
3 Radford University Libraries 35
4 Tartan Tails - Dog Therapy 32
5 Radford Collegiate Recovery Community 26
Dollars Leaderboard
Watch here to see which project raises the most money!
Rank Projects Raised
1 Esports Program $5,045.00
2 Student Emergency Support $2,846.40
3 Radford University Libraries $2,579.02
4 Tartan Tails - Dog Therapy $1,965.10
5 Career Readiness Support $1,555.00
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Questions? See our FAQ.

Or you can contact us at ruadvancement@radford.edu.