First-Generation & Low-Income (FGLI) student support is intended to promote identity exploration, community, advocacy and empowerment for all students who identify with the first-generation and/or low-income student experience. Our work is grounded in a holistic, intersectional approach to foster an educational environment for FGLI students to succeed and thrive at Cornell.  

As a unit in the Dean of Students, Diversity and Inclusion portfolio, we aim to promote and centralize academic and social resources to remove institutional barriers to allow, first-generation and/or low-income students to benefit from an inclusive and transformational educational experience.

Did you know...13% of the students in the incoming class of 2022 self-identify as first-generation students?

We consider you a first-generation student if you will be the first in your immediate family to graduate from a four-year college.

We consider you a low-income student if you have little or no expected parent contribution as part of your financial aid package, you are a recipient of the Pell grant, or you believe that your prior academic and social experiences have been limited due to your socioeconomic status.

In the News

Meet Shakima M. Clency, the new associate dean of students for student empowerment and director of first-generation and low-income student support.

Student Organizations

Follow the First Generation Student Union on Facebook. This student run organization works collectively to foster an inclusive community for first-generation, low-income (FGLI) students. We are committed to making sure FGLI Cornellians find a true sense of belonging and thrive within the ivory tower.

Cornell students have been instrumental in creating and sustaining the Cornell Lending Library.  This student run organization was founded with the purpose of developing equity for low-income students by alleviating the financial burden of the high cost textbooks and academic supplies needed to excel at Cornell. Follow them on Facebook too.


Class of 2022, here is some advice to first-generation students from the former first lady, Michelle Obama.