Skip to main content

Cornell University

First Generation & Low Income Support

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....19.9% of the students in the incoming class of 2026 self-identify as first-generation college students. We consider you a first-generation college student if you come from a family in which neither of your parents or guardians has obtained a four-year college degree.

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.

Spring 2023 Basic Needs Workshop Series

Tuesdays 5-6:30 PM at 626 Thurston Ave., 1st floor conference room. RSVP on Campus Groups for in-person and virtual options.

Feb 7 | FAFSA 101

Questions about renewing your financial aid package? Kevin Jensen, the Executive Director of Cornell’s Office of Financial Aid and Student Employment, will share important information about the process, including how to navigate the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). REGISTER

Feb 21 | Off-Campus Housing 101

Interested in living off campus? Denise Thompson, Cornell’s Off-Campus Living Manager, will review what you need to know before signing a lease, how to budget for housing, what to discuss with potential roommates, and more. REGISTER

 Feb 28 | SNAP 101

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides food assistance for residents of Tompkins County. Learn about the program and how you can qualify. Presented by Amber Podolec of Catholic Charities Tompkins/Tioga. REGISTER

 March 7 | Managing Time 101

Managing your time well is key to success in college and beyond. Join us as Mike Chen from Cornell’s The Learning Strategies Center reviews tips and strategies for effective time management. REGISTER

 March 14 | Filing Taxes 101

It’s officially tax season. If you have questions about filing your taxes, join us for this timely review of what to do and how to get free resources. REGISTER

First Forward Institution

First Forward logo

The Center for First-Generation Student Success launched in June 2017, with the mission of being the premier source of evidence-based practices, professional development, and knowledge creation for the higher education community to advance the success of first-generation students. In continuing this mission, the Center launched First-gen Forward, the nation’s first recognition program acknowledging higher education institutions for their commitment to first-generation student success.

Cornell University is a member of the 2020-2021 First-gen Forward Cohort.

Student Organizations

The First Generation Student Union student-run organization works collectively to foster an inclusive community for first-generation, low-income (FGLI) students and are committed to making sure FGLI Cornellians find a true sense of belonging.

Support the Access Fund

Support the First-Generation and Low-Income Student Support Center, a new initiative out of the Dean of Students Office, by making a gift to the Access Fund. The Access Fund allows us the flexibility to better meet student needs and your gift will help in a multitude of ways. The Access Fund provides financial support to help low-income students cover emergency expenses, meet basic needs, and to participate in transformative experiences that would not be possible without financial assistance.  

Information for Funding & Accessing Transformative Experiences

Cornell provides many opportunities for undergraduate students to earn funding to finance transformative experiences. Some funding opportunities within the resource below are specific to a certain program and college/school, while others are open to any student. This resource is meant to serve as a beginning to your search process. Learn more about information for funding Transformative Experiences.

Meet the Team

Dannemart Pierre

Peggy J. Koenig ’78 Associate Dean of Students for Student Empowerment, Director of First-Generation & Low-Income Student Support

626 Thurston Ave, Room 305

Dannemart Pierre is an educator, life-long learner, and lover of humans and culture. Her vision for a just and equitable higher education experience stems from her own background as a first-generation, low-income college student who immigrated to the United States from Haiti. The opportunity to lead the Kessler Presidential Scholars Program at Cornell University is the fulfillment of that vision.