Community Scholars Program

Georgetown University
District of Columbia
Academic Level
Issue Area
Key Personnel
Program Focus
Summer Bridge


The Community Scholars Program provides a unique opportunity to serve and support first generation and/or low income incoming students at Georgetown University. Geared towards retention, community-building, and holistic support of first generation, low-income students with varying racial, ethnic, gender, sexual, and religious identities, the program prepares students for academic and personal success of Scholars. The Community Scholars program looks to increase retention, good academic standing, and graduation rates of these students.

Program Description

The Community Scholars Program seeks to provide support to first-generation college students, who typically represent diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. Participants are identified and considered for the program based on their high school academic and extracurricular achievements. They attended high schools that did not have the same access to college preparatory courses (such as AP or IB courses) as private or parochial schools. Nevertheless, these students took advantage of all of the best their high schools had to offer, and are often class presidents, mentors, and valedictorians with stellar grades. The program was developed in the late 1960s as a mechanism for enrolling more local Black District of Columbia residents. The program has evolved over the years to include other students of color and to serve primarily first-generation college students from across the country.


  • The 2023 class of 75 Community Scholars are 100% first-generation students and of over 13 different religious affiliations, represent 25 states and territories, and identify with diverse racial, ethnic, and citizenship backgrounds.
  • Pre-Community Scholars Statistics: 84% of Scholars felt academically prepared for their first semester at Georgetown in the Fall. 70% of Scholars felt familiar with academic resources at Georgetown. 97% of Scholars felt socially connected at Georgetown.
  • Approximately a fourth of program participants  have studied abroad.

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