47% of the GS community identifies as First Generation and/or Low Income. Get to know available resources and programming for GS FLI students.

The Dean of Students Office at GS strives to celebrate and empower GS students who self-identify as first generation and/or low income (FLI) through academic support, community programming, resource sharing, and advocacy—fostering a supportive and equitable community where GS FLI students can thrive and achieve their academic goals.


The GS Dean of Students Office invites first-generation and low income students to gather for a monthly community space and resource share over lunch. Occurring throughout the year, students will receive information about upcoming FLI Fridays in the GS Weekly or Postbac Premed Weekly newsletter. Please email [email protected] with any questions.

Students who self-identify as FLI in need of school supplies are invited to receive free school supplies. Please stop by GS Student Life, located in the 308B Suite of Lewisohn Hall.

The following supplies are available:

  • Binders
  • Folders
  • College-ruled notebooks
  • College-ruled filler paper
  • Graph paper
  • Pens, pencils, and highlighters
  • Index cards

Please email [email protected] with any questions.

Students who self-identify as FLI in need of winter accessories are invited to receive free winter accessories. Please stop by GS Student Life, located in the 308B Suite of Lewisohn Hall, during the winter months.

The following winter accessories are available:

  • Hats
  • Gloves
  • Scarves 
  • Socks 

Please email [email protected] with any questions.

During the academic year, the GS Dean of Students Office offers meal pantry packs for students who may be facing food insecurity. These meal packs include nonperishable food items for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Meal packs can be picked up at the GS Office of Student Life, located in Suite 308B of Lewisohn Hall, and are provided on a first-come, first-served basis. Pick-ups occur on Tuesdays and Wednesdays during business hours.

Please email [email protected] with any questions.

During the fall and spring semesters, Columbia Dining offers vouchers to the dining halls on campus. 

For more information, email [email protected].

GS Student Life provides the opportunity for GS students to request subsidized tickets to events throughout the school year, sponsored by both recognized student groups and GS Student Life, in order to support those with financial need. Applicants seeking a subsidized ticket may be either current full-time or current part-time GS students. All requests will be reviewed by GS Student Life staff members. 

For more information, email [email protected].

Student Groups

GS students are able to participate in over 500 student groups on campus. Meet two FLI-focused student organizations:

FL@GS (First Generation/Low Income @ General Studies)

FL@GS is the newest student group at GS with the mission of serving the GS FLI community through peer led community building and resource sharing.

FL@GS Website

Email: [email protected]

FLI Network

Columbia’s FLI Network’s overall purpose is to provide appropriate communities and platforms for first generation and low income students to talk about and act upon a range of issues that pertain to these intersectional identities. This group is open to all undergraduates at Columbia University.

Email: [email protected]

Academic Support for GS FLI Students at the Academic Resource Center

The Academic Resource Center (ARC) is dedicated to supporting the diverse nontraditional student body at GS in achieving academic excellence. All ARC programming is built based on student feedback, with the needs and experiences of GS FLI students especially in mind.

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Jumpstart offers incoming students the opportunity to preview the academic environment as they transition to Columbia, develop skills needed for success, and meet the team here to help you through your GS journey. 

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University Studies

A course taken by all incoming GS students, University Studies introduces and prepares students for the Ivy League undergraduate experience.

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ARC Snack Pantry

601 West 111th St and Broadway, Second Floor
The ARC pantry offers a variety of free light snacks and beverages for students. There is also a microwave available for student use.

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Tutoring, Coaching, and More

The ARC offers a full suite of tutoring, coaching, and other support resources that are freely accessible to all GS students, to provide hands-on help throughout your academic journey.

GS Health and Wellness Resources

The GS Health and Wellness Team is here to assist students in distress (or community members attempting to assist students in distress). They can make referrals to and provide assistance in the navigation and coordination of services between campus and community partners.

For more information, please visit the GS Health and Wellness website or email [email protected].

University-Wide Resources and Initiatives

Columbia FLI Resources

Center for Career Education (CCE)
The Center for Career Education (CCE) offers a variety of resources for FLI students at Columbia including the clothing closet.

FLI Partnership Library
Located on the third floor of Butler Library in room 303A, the Columbia FLI Partnership Library is a collection of textbooks and other course materials available to all first-generation and/or low income Columbia undergraduate students for extended (semester-long) loan periods. Students wishing to borrow materials may fill out the FLI Partnership Libraries Access Form.

The Food Pantry at Columbia
The Food Pantry at Columbia is a full-service food pantry in Lerner Hall open to all Columbia students. Email [email protected] with any questions.

iGrad Financial Wellness
The University has partnered with iGrad to offer financial literacy information free of charge to all CU students. Additionally, they have a scholarship search tool that can help locate and apply for outside/private scholarships/grants. 

Off-Campus Housing Assistance (OCHA)
The Columbia University Off-Campus Housing Assistance (OCHA) office website provides information about housing options available off campus.

Columbia FLI Community

First Gen Week
A series of events and a multimedia awareness campaign allowing students, faculty, and staff who identify as FLI to share their stories, be visible, and find a community among each other. First Gen week is sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) and the FLI Network Student group.

FLI Graduation
This annual ceremony hosted by the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) provides an intimate setting for family, friends, alumni, faculty, staff, and students to recognize the achievements and impact of graduating FLI students.

Columbia First Generation/Low Income Alumni Network (CFLAN)
The mission of CFLAN is to create a strong, cross-generational community of Columbia alumni who come from a low-income background and/or were the first member of their family to earn a college degree in the United States.

Local and Federal Resources

Soup Kitchen
In-person service on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Services are open to all, with no pre-registration required.

Takeout Bags
The soup kitchen serves takeout meals on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 12:30 - 1:30 p.m. Open to all, with no pre-registration required.

Supermarket Pantry
Open every Thursday from 2 - 5 p.m., and stocked with a wide variety of non-perishable goods. Registration is required and guests may only shop at the food pantry once a month. Register via the Plentiful app.

WIC is a public health nutrition program that provides food, nutrition education, and community support for eligible women who are pregnant and postpartum, infants, and children up to five years old.

Students with a library card from the Brooklyn Public Library, Queens Public Library, or New York Public Library can reserve free passes to 80+ cultural institutions across NYC. Please visit the NYC Culture Pass website for more information.

Eligible residents of NYC can apply for half-price MetroCards. Please visit Access NYC for more information.

The NYC Food Bank aims to end hunger by organizing food access, information, and support for community survival and dignity.

Free, easy-to-use reservation system for food pantries. 

Download the Plentiful app or text “FOOD” to 726-879 to find a pantry by location, amenities, or service times, and make a reservation for the pantry to avoid waiting in line.

Food Pantry
Open Tuesdays - Fridays from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. for the first 60 people to arrive.

SNAP issues electronic benefits that can be used like cash to purchase food. SNAP benefits are now available to college students who are eligible for federal work-study or who have an Expected Family Contribution of $0. Please visit the NY SNAP website or the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) website for more information.

*Enrollment data as of Fall 2022

Contact and Connect

Keep an eye out for the GS Weekly and Postbac Premed Weekly newsletters sent on Monday mornings, and connect with the GS community to stay up-to-date on GS events and resources through our social media platforms below. You are also encouraged to reach out to us with any questions.