Columbia College | Columbia Engineering

FLI @ Columbia

First-Generation and/or Low Income at Columbia series

Complementing the academic-related support and transition resources provided by First-in-Family Programs in the Center for Student Advising, Multicultural Affairs offers social and cultural support, resources, programming, and advocacy for First-generation and/or Low Income (FLI) college students on issues related to student life outside of the classroom. Additionally, the office offers opportunities for campus education and training on socio-economic class awareness and greater understanding of first-generation college student experiences. 

To receive information about FLI student events, opportunities and resources, subscribe to our mailing list and follow us on Facebook.

Programs and Events

In collaboration with campus partners and student organizations, this program series provides support for FLI college students on issues related to campus life, navigating the campus community, and experiences outside of the classroom. Additionally, it facilitates an educational platform for the campus community to better understand the experiences of low income students and first-gen students. Programs include peer ­facilitated dialogues, social and cultural events, and educational workshops. Past and current events include:

  • First-Generation and/or Low-Income Students and Allies Mixer (NSOP): part of the New Student Orientation Program, this casual gathering allows incoming students the opportunity to meet each other and learn about the campus resources available to them
  • TGIFF Lunch Lounge: weekly, fun, and informal check-in conversations for new students on finding community, transitioning to college life, and connecting to resources
  • Be the "1st": dinner dialogues where students, faculty, and staff can have intentional conversations about the first-gen experience at Columbia
  • First-­Generation and Low Income Student Town Hall: an opportunity for Columbia students who identify as first­-gen and/or low income to come together and build community through sharing information, identifying needs, and discussing issues
  • FLI Outings: this outing series facilitates new connections and builds community as students have the opportunity to visit sites and experience NYC together
  • Gen Week: in collaboration with the student group First­-generation Low Income Partnership (FLIP), this week in April provides a multimedia awareness campaign allowing students, faculty, and staff who identify as first-gen to share their stories, be visible, and find a community among each other
  • FLI Graduation: this ceremony provides an intimate setting for family, friends, alumni, faculty, staff, and students to recognize the achievements and impact of our graduating students
  • Professional development workshops for staff: training for student-facing administrators and faculty members to better understand class awareness and first-gen experiences, the diversity within the FLI community, and best practices on how to support students on campus

Advocacy: First-Gen Student Advisory Board and FLI Resource Team

First-Generation Student Advisory Board (FAB) is part of the Multicultural Affairs Advisory Council (MAAC) under Multicultural Affairs. These undergraduate students in Columbia College and Columbia Engineering work towards a more respectful, accountable, and socially just campus environment by identifying campus issues and work closely and collaboratively with Multicultural Affairs and other campus partners in developing realistic and action-oriented solutions.

Like each MAAC student advisory board, FAB works with a corresponding administrative resource team spearheaded by Multicultural Affairs.  Informed by the work of FAB, the FLI Resource Team is a cross-functional work-team responsible for identifying unique and/or specific issues facing first-generation and/or low income students. Each individual member of the team serves as a liaison, contributes to the conversation, and shares pertinent information back to their respective office.   Each team supports the development, planning and implementation of initiatives aimed at assisting their respective population of students in Columbia College and Columbia Engineering. FLI Team membership consists of staff from Multicultural Affairs, Center for Student Advising, Counseling and Psychological Services, Undergraduate Admissions, Global Programs an Fellowships, Center for Career Education, Alumni Affairs, and Sexual Violence Response. 

Organizational Advisement

Multicultural Affairs provides advising support – including leadership development, discussions on campus issues impacting the organizations, and event planning – for the following student groups:

  • First­-generation Low Income Partnership (FLIP) is an recognized student group whose mission is to create safe spaces for students to discuss issues relevant to the first­-generation and low income community in order to combat stigmas, promote discussion of socioeconomic class and education access, and advocate for resources.
  • Columbia Quest Scholars Network (QSN) is a recognized student group with the mission to create a space and support system for all low­income students attending Columbia. Through different events, initiatives, and other forms of programming, QSN hopes to create a dialogue for low­income students that will enable students to have a better experience at Columbia. Though founded and support by QuestBridge scholars, membership and program participation are open to all students.
  • IvyG Delegation Multicultural Affairs supports students organizing the Columbia delegation attending the annual 1vyG Conference. 1vyG strengthens and empowers the inter­Ivy League first­-generation college student network by convening communities of students and administrators, sharing, and building best practices of support, and advocating for change.

Campus Resources


Columbia College and Columbia Engineering

Additional School-specific Resources


FLI Resource Guide. A Guide to Columbia's Campus Resource Designed for and by first-generation and/or low-income students.FLI Resource Guide. A Guide to Columbia's Campus Resource Designed for and by first-generation and/or low-income students.

Check out the FLI Resource Guide

Tips on navigating Financial Aid for FLI studentsFLI Tips Sheet: Navigating Financial Aid

View the FLI Tips Sheet (Navigating Financial Aid)

Tips on finding affordable textbooks on campus and digitallyFLI Tips Sheet: Finding Affordable Books

View the ​FLI Tips Sheet (Affordable Books) - Fall 2020

FLI Tips Sheet (Columbia & NYC on a Budget)Tips on navigating Columbia and NYC on a budget

See our FLI Tips Sheet (Columbia and NYC on a Budget)


Multicultural Affairs


505 Alfred Lerner Hall
2920 Broadway
New York, NY 10027

Call: 212-854-0720

Fax: 212-854-6972

Office Hours
9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Connect with the IRC