Columbia College | Columbia Engineering

First-in-Family Programs

Columbia College and Columbia Engineering are proud to have nearly 900 undergraduates who are the first in their family to attend college. First-in-Family (FiF) Programs serves these students, and all students, by supporting them as they make the cultural leap into the college environment.

First-in-Family is by definition a secondary identity. The FiF constituency hails from every corner of the socioeconomic spectrum, every ethnic background, and every area of study.

The philosophy of FiF is that "students don't know what they don't know." FIF Programs aims to introduce students to the huge variety of possibilities for their Columbia education.

  • Orientation: We hold a reception during the New Student Orientation Program (NSOP) to welcome new first-generation college students and their families to campus. This reception, specifically geared towards first-generation college students, will give you an opportunity to hear from deans, advisers, and meet fellow first-generation college students.  You will also hear from a panel of current first-generation undergraduates that will reflect on their experience at Columbia, offer advice on navigating life at Columbia, and answer your questions. And as an added bonus, breakfast will be served!  
  • Social Events: All FiF students are invited to participate in exclusive community-building events throughout the academic year.  Programming for Fall 2018 is now posted, please click on the events page to learn more. 


  • Academic Support: First-in-Family programs, in collaboration with several partner offices, offers academic support including free tutoring and a robust schedule of academic seminars and workshops.  For more info, you can click on the events tab (on the left hand column) or by checking out the Academic Resources in Support of Excellence (ARISE) page.  Finally, you are encouraged to set-up a meeting with your advising dean, or any advising dean from the First-in-Family unit, to learn about FiF resources. 

First-in-Family Programming at Columbia can be reach via email at

James H. and Christine Turk Berick Center for Student Advising


403 Alfred Lerner Hall
2920 Broadway
New York, NY 10027

Call: (212) 854-6378

Fax: (212) 854-2458

Office Hours
9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Walk-in Hours (Sept-May)
3:00 p.m.–4:30 p.m.