UPDATE: Fifteen Coca-Cola First Generation Scholar members of the UGA Class of 2019 were honored in a special ceremony in April. Read more on give.uga.edu’s Campaign Connection blog.


The leading beverage producer pledged $1 million to enhance scholarship support for UGA students who are the first in their families to attend college.

This highly successful partnership between UGA and the Coca-Cola Foundation has transformed the lives of 141 first-generation students since 2007. The Coca-Cola First Generation Scholarship supports academically outstanding students who are the first in their families to attend college.

“It is our pleasure to provide the University of Georgia with this grant for the Coca-Cola First Generation Scholarship program. We have seen the transformative difference education makes in the lives of students who are the first in their families to attend college and are proud to continue support for this program.”

–  Lori Billingsley | Vice President of Community Relations | Coca-Cola North America

The $5,000 scholarship is available for four years if the recipient maintains certain academic standards. Each scholarship recipient is provided support services through UGA’s Division of Academic Enhancement that help them adjust to college life and helps ensure their academic, cultural and financial success throughout their undergraduate experience. This includes mentoring programs, academic workshops and tutoring services.  Students also have access to unique extracurricular experiences such as team building activities, group retreats and field trips.

Wendy Vong, a health promotion major and fourth-year Coca-Cola First Generation Scholar, shared her appreciation for her scholarship. Vong described how the program allowed her to grow personally, academically and professionally.

“This program not only provided me with financial support, but also with the on-campus resources that every student needs. Through this program, I was able to focus on my academic studies and my personal development.”

– Wendy Vong

The Coca-Cola Foundation established this program at UGA in 2007 with a gift of $1 million and continued support in 2011 with an additional pledge of $1 million. In 2015, the Coca-Cola Foundation once again supported the program at UGA by making a $1 million gift for a new cohort of First Generation Scholars.

“We are immensely grateful for the continued support of one of our state’s pre-eminent corporate partners. Coca-Cola’s generosity is providing vital support for deserving students from Georgia who are seeking to become the first in their families to earn a college degree.”

–  Jere W. Morehead | President | University of Georgia

The Coca-Cola First Generation Scholars Program is just one example of how Coca-Cola has committed to supporting the state of Georgia’s flagship university. The Atlanta-based company is consistently a top employer of UGA graduates and interns and is home to a UGA Alumni Corporate Chapter. Through these efforts, the world’s leading beverage producer helps UGA impact the trajectory of students’ futures — and those around them.

Partner with UGA today so your business can increase college access among qualified students and support the next generation’s workforce.