Columbia College and Columbia Engineering are proud to have approximately 1,000 undergraduates who are the first in their families to attend college. First-in-Family (FiF) Programs encourages the success of every first-generation college student at Columbia via year-long academic support, professional development, and cultural enrichment opportunities.
What does it mean to be First-in-Family? First-in-Family is by definition a secondary identity. First-in-Family’s first-generation college students hail from every corner of the socioeconomic spectrum, every racial/ethnic background, and every area of study. For our program, “first-generation college student” is identified as a student whose parent(s)/guardian(s) have not received a four-year U.S. bachelor’s degree or completed a four-year U.S. bachelor’s degree later in life.
First-in-Family Programming The First-in-Family philosophy is "students don't know what they don't know." First-in-Family Programs introduces students to the possibilities available to them during and after their Columbia education.
- 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 information, please click the events tab (in the left hand column) or by visiting the Academic Resources page.
- Professional Development: First-in-Family Programs hosts “Career Days” offering first-generation college students the opportunity to visit employers throughout New York City. From structural engineering to social entrepreneurship, First-in-Family students gain access to a wide network of industry leaders while going behind-the-scenes on worksites to learn the ins and outs of various fields.
- Cultural Enrichment: First-in-Family Programs believes arts and culture comprise a meaningful part of every college student’s education. Through partnerships with leading arts and performance venues, First-in-Family Programs offers complimentary tickets to theater, museums, and the performing arts throughout the academic year.
First-in-Family Programs may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org; programming is announced weekly through the First-in-Family listserv. Students are also encouraged to contact any advising dean from the First-in-Family unit to learn more about First-in-Family resources.