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Bentley University will offer first-generation students from Massachusetts a private university education for the price of a state university. The BentleyFirst program provides a scholarship that allows first-generation students to attend Bentley for the same tuition as UMass. Bentley, one of the nation’s top business schools, was founded in 1917 by Harry C. Bentley, a first-generation student himself, and the new program builds on the university’s long history of supporting first-gen students.

Vice President for Enrollment Management Carolina Figueroa
Carolina Figueroa

“Empowering students from different backgrounds leads to diverse perspectives and conversations inside and outside the classroom that benefit all our students,” said Vice President of Enrollment Management Carolina Figueroa, who was the first in her family to graduate from college. “The BentleyFirst program increases access to all the benefits that come from a private education including smaller classes, personal attention and student support.”

Learn more about the BentleyFirst Program

The BentleyFirst program does not require a separate application; any eligible student who is accepted to Bentley will qualify. The scholarship is renewable for up to eight semesters or until students complete their bachelor’s degree, whichever comes first. The amount of the scholarship will be adjusted each academic year so that it matches the current tuition difference. Students may also be eligible for additional financial aid depending on their level of need.

Bentley University has received national recognition for its commitment to the success of first-generation students. It’s been named part of the 2021-2022 First-gen Forward cohort, a group of colleges and universities that have shown their dedication to improving the experiences and advancing the outcomes of first-generation college students.

Committee Formed to Support First-Gen Students

Bentley’s FirstGen Presidential Fellows program is a prestigious leadership development program that offers high-ability first-generation students a full scholarship plus mentoring, networking and career development throughout their four years. A distinguishing feature of the program is the signature work project, through which students work closely with a faculty mentor to explore the question: how can individuals and organizations be a force for positive change in the world?

The FirstGen Presidential Fellows program is supported by the corporate world, with Sun Life U.S. as the inaugural corporate sponsor. The company has hired many Bentley graduates and says the program will bring strong, qualified candidates to Sun Life and other organizations.