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!  This year, the FIF Welcome Reception and Panel will take place on Monday, August 29, at 9:30am in 401 Lerner Hall. 
  • Social Events: All FIF students are invited to participate in FIF-exclusive community-building events throughout the academic year. Programming for Fall 2016 will be announced on a rolling basis.
  • Academic Support: The Center for Student Advising provides academic support resources through the Academic Resources in Support of Excellence (ARISE) program. All FIF students are encouraged to inquire about these resources.

For more info on First-in-Family Programming at Columbia, please email

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.