First-Generation Students

Welcome to a New Chapter!

If your parents or guardians didn’t attend a four-year college or complete a bachelor’s degree, you’re a first-generation college student. You’re not alone, and you belong at EWU! In fact, first-generation college students make up 44% of all your classmates at EWU. So if you don’t know what a “registrar” or “provost” is, or if you don’t understand how college homecoming is different than high school spirit week, you are not the only one. At EWU you’re with peers who share similar experiences and backgrounds.

Because EWU is home to so many first-generation students, we’ve created a welcoming campus and an environment full of resources to help you succeed. Get ready to make new friends, connect with faculty, and start your career path.

Campus Life

Campus Safety

EWU is one of the safest public university campuses in Washington, and one of the top 100 safest campuses in the United States, according to National Council for Home Safety and Security. The biggest contributor is the shared commitment of staff and students.

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Diversity & Inclusion

EWU has six cultural centers. Students attend from 49 states and 50 countries. More than 1 in 3 students come from diverse backgrounds. Nearly 50 percent are the first in their families to attend college. EWU thrives on all kinds of diversity, and so will you.


Embrace your Community

EWU has over 100 student clubs and groups that you can engage in. From academic topics like rockets, design or music to intramural sports like pickleball, there's something for everyone. Our award-winning Epic program hosts outdoor excursions of all interests and rents equipment like bikes or paddle boards.

Student Life


Students who live on campus have higher average GPAs and are more likely to graduate on time. You get access to the gym, pool, dining, computer labs and more, all minutes from your doorstep. Plus, you'll have the convenience of one quarterly bill and never have to deal with a sketchy landlord.

Life on Campus

Campus Dining

Getting the right fuel for your brain is essential to learning the convenience of a quarterly meal plan is helpful. Campus has multiple dining locations with diverse menus for all dietary needs. There is also a food locker program free for all students to combat food insecurities.

Meal Plans

Paying for College

Paying for your time at EWU does not need to be a hassle. When it comes to bills, you do not need to pay for all of them all at once. Here at EWU, all bills are separated and quarterly, meaning yearly bills are split into several easier payments.

The first step to becoming financially sound is having a confident understanding of concepts like saving, budgeting, and managing debt that lead to an overall sense of financial well-being. EWU offers a financial wellness program, including free resources and trained peer mentoring to help you feel better prepared to make those choices.

Financial Aid

Every year thousands of students finance their education through a combination of grants, scholarships, work-study and loans. All of these types of aid are considered Financial Aid.

To qualify for Financial Aid, you must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students unable to file a FAFSA may qualify to complete the Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA). To become eligible for the most financial aid possible, you’ll want to submit your application for FAFSA/WASFA and EWU by Feb. 1.

If you miss the Feb.1 deadline, don’t worry—you can still submit your FAFSA/WASFA afterward. Just keep in mind that waiting could have an impact on the amount of financial aid you’re able to receive. So, let’s get that FAFSA/WASFA submitted as soon as possible and try to maximize your financial assistance.

Financial Aid


Scholarships are FREE money to help pay for college. They come from a variety of sources and many scholarships become available in the fall and winter with a Feb. 1 deadline.

Plus, many departments have established scholarships with a preference for first-generation students like you. This means you have even more opportunities to secure financial support to help you achieve your academic goals. Don’t be afraid to explore your options and apply for as many scholarships as you can.

You must apply to EWU first before you can apply for scholarships.


Student Profiles

Eagle Card

Your EagleCard is your main form of identification at EWU. With it, you can:

• Use your dining credits for food, coffee, snacks

• Access the fitness center, ice arena or climbing wall

• Check out books or rent equipment from the library

• Use your print credits

• Use it as a free bus pass

EagleCard Services


Studying Help

College is a new challenge, get help and ask questions - it's free!

All students have access to free wifi, computer labs, printing, and academic poster and academic photo printing. Download computer programs like the Adobe Creative Cloud suite, Microsoft Office, and others.

Program Leading to University Success (PLUS)

The Program Leading to University Success (PLUS) provides free academic support to EWU students through study groups, one-on-one tutoring, academic coaching, and online academic assistance.

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Center (WC)

The Writers’ Center offers a place to get your writing reviewed. They work with any ability, from any discipline, and at any stage of the writing process. A lot of students are nervous about writing but with a little help, your next paper will get an A+.

Writers Center


Need extra help with math? EWU has math tutoring in several places around campus. The tutoring lab is staffed by tutors who are undergraduate majors and graduate students with high academic standards in mathematics courses.

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Tips & Tricks

Check your New Email

Any notification received from financial aid will be sent directly to your EWU email. Once you receive your new email, be sure to check it regularly in order to be better informed about EWU’s class schedules, safety information, event information and more.

Email Services

Attend a New Student Orientation

Orientation is your first step in becoming a Student here at EWU. All the information you need to prepare you for your first year at EWU is given at this event. Our goal is to set you up for a successful and rewarding college experience.


Ask for Help

Students receive their introduction to SwoopChat once enrolled. This chat service will text you to check in with the latest information on the deadlines and resources relevant to your success. Better yet, visiting offices in person is a great way to get your answers met.

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Locate your Class

Explore campus and find the buildings at the start of the quarter, before the first day of class. Locate your classroom ahead of time and get to class early. Every professor has an office with office hours check where those are that way you can get your questions answered face-to-face.

Campus Maps

Start Thinking About Your Career

Whether you're looking for a campus job, an internship to gain real-world experience, or starting your career, the EWU Career Center will support your professional development. They offer resume reviews, career coaching, internship placement and more.

Career Center


When reading your syllabus for your class, you may notice that your instructor will have a set of office hours listed. Office hours are a set of times when your professor is available to communicate outside of class.

Most students use office hours when there is a topic in class that doesn’t make sense, an assignment problem they cannot finish on their own, or they want advice or to discuss their grades.

Take advantage of office hours as soon as you can. Many students wait too long to ask help or address a learning concern.

Plus, going to office hours is a great way to connect with your professor, which is particularly important for courses in your major. Professors often know about internships and job opportunities, so don’t be afraid to ask.

Once admitted to EWU, you will meet with an academic advisor. Ask questions, and tell them you’re academic interests.

The EWU career center has several resources like discovering your skills, assessments, and resources that explore industries.

Check out our program explorer to familiarize what areas of study we offer. EWU is a Liberal Arts college which means that all classes will make you think and give you skills, like communication and problem-solving. These are great skill sets for future employers.

Attending EWU can be the perfect opportunity to make new friends and form new connections. Sign up with EagleSync the official campus community platform to view all the clubs, calendar of events and more.


Living on-campus is an important component of a student’s first year at Eastern Washington University. New, first-year students are required to live in an EWU residence hall. This policy is designed to increase student success and persistence to graduation.

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For some, living within the same space with a roommate may be an entirely new experience.

  • As part of the housing application process, you will be able to search for and match with roommates. You can search by name or have the application suggest roommates for you based on profile questionnaire answers.
  • We offer single rooms throughout our buildings but there are limited amounts available. We will do our best to honor single-room requests.
  • Roommate tips: be open, talk to each other and talk to your community advisor.

The EWU Eagle Store has a great price comparison tool. You can look up your term and class and see what is available. Some classes have E-books, and some require physical books that you will need to order. The Eagle Store no longer offers physical textbooks.

If you know you’ll only need a book for a term, you might want to save some cash by renting from Amazon, Chegg, or other providers. Just remember to return your books by the return deadline to avoid any fees.

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A hold is a college’s way of saying you’ve missed an important step or that your student record isn’t up to date.

Once in a while, you may be attempting to sign up for classes only to notice you have a hold that won’t let you take the next step.

There are a lot of holds, and we can help you get them removed!

Check out the information below.

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The Measles, mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine is required at EWU.

Per EWU Policy all incoming students, as well as staff and faculty are required to submit proof of MMR immunity. Measles, mumps, and rubella are highly communicable diseases that can be mitigated by receiving two (2) doses of the MMR vaccine.

As of May 19, 2023 the Covid vaccine is no longer required.

Find vaccine info at

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.

FERPA rights transfer from the parent/guardian to the student when they reach the age of 18 or attend a school beyond the high school level.

This means we can’t talk to any strangers, friends, or family members about most information on your student record. Sometimes this federal law is really confusing when students need help from a parent or guardian.

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Glossary of Terms

Undergraduate:A student pursuing a bachelor's degree.
Graduate School:Education beyond the bachelor's degree level, leading to master's or doctoral degrees.
Financial AidFinancial assistance provided to students to help cover the costs of tuition, fees, and living expenses.
FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid):A form that students must fill out annually to determine eligibility for federal financial aid programs.
Scholarship:A financial award given to students based on academic achievement, talent, or other criteria, which does not need to be repaid.
Grants:Financial aid that does not need to be repaid, typically awarded based on financial need.
Tuition:The fee charged for instruction at the university.
Food & Housing:The cost of housing and meals provided by the university.
Registrar:The office responsible for student records, registration, and enrollment services.
Academic Advisor:A faculty or staff member who assists students in planning their academic goals and course schedules.
Major:The primary field of study a student chooses to focus on during their undergraduate education.
Minor:A secondary field of study that complements the major, usually requiring fewer credits.
Course Catalog:A publication listing all the courses offered by the university, along with descriptions and prerequisites.
Syllabus:A document provided by professors outlining course objectives, assignments, and grading criteria.
Credit Hours:A unit of measurement representing the hours spent in class each week over a quarter used to calculate academic progress and tuition fees.
GPA (Grade Point Average):A numerical representation of a student's academic performance, calculated by averaging grades earned in courses.
Drop/Add ClassThe timeframe at the beginning of each quarter during which students can adjust their course schedules without penalty.
Academic Probation:A status given to students whose GPA falls below a certain threshold, typically resulting in restrictions on enrollment or financial aid.
Degree Audit:An evaluation of a student's academic progress towards completing their degree requirements.
Career Services:Resources provided by the university to help students explore career options, find internships, and prepare for the job market.