Student Success Centre

First Generation Students (FGS)

First Generation Students Banner

A student is a FGS if both parents have not attended a postsecondary institution. Western recognizes that FGS students face different challenges from those students whose parents attended University and, in order to address those challenges, Western has a number of helpful resources in place for you. Among these resources are:

Mentoring Programs

LAMP:  As an incoming First Generation Student, you can take advantage of the LAMP Mentoring Program (Leadership and Mentorship Program) which will help to guide you through your first transitional year of university life by pairing you with an upper-year student in a similar academic stream.  Not only will you benefit from your Mentor’s academic advice, you will also gain a greater understanding of the unique experience of a university student—advice about first year by someone who has “been there.”

OMA:  First Generation Students who intend to pursue a career in the healthcare field may wish to learn more about Altitude Healthcare Mentorships offered to students by the Ontario Medical Association (OMA).  This is a unique, first-of-its-kind mentorship program that pairs you up with a medical student to help coach and prepare you through your undergrad journey.  Mentorship will be aimed at academic excellence, personal growth and development, social and cultural insight needed for a career in healthcare. Besides one-on-one mentorship, we have monthly workshops that will allow you to explore other careers in healthcare such as medicine, pharmacy, physiotherapy etc.

If you are interest in being a part of this exciting program, please apply online by visiting

If you have any other questions, please email: or join our facebook group at:

General Advice and Assistance

Part of the challenge of being a First Generation Student is that you may not know enough in the first place to know “what” to ask in the second.  After all, you need to have an understanding of the “big picture” before you can ask questions about it.  That’s where we come in.  If you need a general description of how any part of the University “works,” we can help.  If you have any questions about the process of choosing courses, about the concept of “modules,” about how or when to buy books, or, simply, about what may be expected of you at a specific time of the year, we have the answers.  The General Advice and Assistance component of our effort to help you recognizes that the university is a kind of massive “organism” with many working parts.  When you join our community, there are expectations (on your part and ours) about your role and responsibilities here.  Knowing as much as possible about your place in the community is an important first step to feeling like you belong.  So, if you have any questions or just want to talk to a sympathetic and knowledgeable individual who understands your concerns—an individual who may have been where you are—come to see us and let us help.  

First Generation Student Bursary

The Government of Ontario allocates funding for First Generation Students through the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities’ Access and Opportunities Strategy. This bursary opportunity provides direct support to students with financial need who are the first in their families to attend a post-secondary institution.  The First Generation Student Bursary ranges from $1000-3500 dollars, and students with the highest financial need will be selected from the eligible submissions through the Financial Application Profile.

To be eligible to receive a First Generation Student Bursary, you must satisfy the following: