FGLI definition: First-generation and/or low-income students (2023)

Definitions and FAQs

At Rise First, we recognize that the definition of First Generation and/or Low Income (FGLI) students has many caveats and can vary across the country. Our team has used our understanding, experience, and research to broadly define the terminology below so that the FGLI community can have a common understanding. The definition is subject to change and may vary slightly by school and organization.

Am I a first generation student?

A first-generation college student (or “first generation”) is defined as a student whose parent/legal guardian did not earn a bachelor's degree or higher in the United States or another country. First-generation students face unique challenges when studying at universities, bringing diverse perspectives to the table.

One4,2MMStudents in the US may be consideredLow-income first-generation students.(Those)
Fair9% of them will earn a bachelor's degree by age 24., compared to 77% of high-income households.(Those)
Fair13% of college dropouts return, and even fewer have a title. Students who delay their diplomas also delaymerit award and associated work results
with academic qualification

However, there are also a growing number of resources dedicated to supporting first-generation college students, including scholarships, programs, events, and communities. It is now more important than ever that FGLI students take action to apply to a university to reach their full potential andContribute to diversity and thought leadershipIt will boost our economy and our society, but many first generation students don't know they are first generation/identify as first generation until they enter college. Recognizing the identity of the first generation is the first step in obtaining the necessary resources to close the achievement gap of the FGLI community.

Am I a low-income college student?

A low-income student comes from a family with an annual income that is in the bottom 20% of the country (about $40,000) or below 200% of the federal poverty line. According to the US Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Assessment, the household poverty line is as follows: 1 person: $12,880; 2 people: $17,420; 3 people: $21,960; 4 people: $26,500; 5 people: $31,040; 6 people: $35,580; 7 people: $40,120; 8 people: $44,660. For families with more than 8 people, add $4,540 for each additional person.(Those)

Current household income status and limits may vary by state, county and school and may change over time. It's important to talk to your college if your family's income changes to see if you're eligible for financial aid and other benefits.

FGLI definition: First-generation and/or low-income students (1)

(Video) First Generation

FGLI definition: First-generation and/or low-income students (2)

First Generation Definition FAQ
What does FGL mean?

FGLI stands for First Generation and/or Low Income.(Those)

What does "first generation plus" mean?

This is a term used for FGLI students with multiple identities such as BIPOC, low income, rural, queer, trans, seniors, DACA students, etc.(Those)

Am I a first generation student if my older brother went to college?

Yes. Being a first-generation student means that your parents/guardians have not completed the 4-year course, regardless of the educational level of other family members.(Those)

Am I a first generation student if my parents graduated and dropped out of school?

Yes. You are considered first generation if your parents/guardians have not completed 4 years of college. If your parents earned one or more associate's degrees or received trade school certificates, you may still qualify as a first-generation student. Contact your university to find out what first generation resources and aid you are entitled to.(Those)

Is there student aid available for first generation students?

There are many government and private organizations that offer financial aid and scholarships specifically aimed at first-generation and/or low-income students. Contact your school's financial aid office for more information and visit ourconcessionsPage for more FGLI-specific financial support opportunities.

What are some common misconceptions about first-generation students?

It is often wrongly assumed that first-generation students must be low-income. While this assumption is usually correct, first-generation people can come from any socioeconomic background. Research shows that first-generation low-income students aspire to college at rates similar to higher-income college-educated parents.(Those)

A first generation student is not necessarily the same as a first generation immigrant, but about 30% of first generation college students come from immigrant families.


First-generation college students who are also first-generation immigrants face a unique set of challenges as they overcome language and cultural barriers.

There are many ways parents of first generation students can provide support. It is important to learn and listen to your child's college plan and ask any questions that may arise. Parents need to be supportive and understand that family dynamics can change. Try to understand and support your child's journey as he experiences new things and becomes the person he is meant to be. Find more tips for your child's success here and here.

(Video) FGLI: Interview Prep Workshop!

What colleges offer special support for the first generation?

There are many institutions that support first-generation and/or low-income students. Check to see if your college offers assistance through Student Support Services (SSS), a First Generation Center, or a TRIO Program Center that aims to serve and support low-income individuals and first generation college students. Some colleges have established specific first-generation student clubs, peer and/or faculty mentoring programs, and other types of first-generation programs. If you're not sure where to start, first visit your college's website and also talk to your advisor/resident assistant (RA), guidance leader, peer mentor, or other staff member who can help you navigate your college . Experience is useful.(Those)

NASPA provides a list of First Generation Forward Institutions each year. To learn more about the qualifiers and to view this year's cohort to see if your institution made the list, visit:https://firstgen.naspa.org/first-forward.

Enable FGLI success

The following types of resources are critical to the success of FGLI students.

FGLI definition: First-generation and/or low-income students (3)

financial resources

Visit your school's financial aid office for more information.concessions, scholarships, or other financial aid that may be available to finance your education.

Visit our grants page for specific financial aid from FGLI.

Complete your FAFSA. The US Department of Education sponsors the Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC), which operates a toll-free hotline to answer questions about Federal Student Aid, FSA ID, and the FAFSA. The FSAIC can be reached at 1-800-433-3243 or 1-334-523-2691. Questions that do not involve personally identifiable information may be submitted via email to FederalStudentAidCustomerService@ed.gov.

For more information, seehttps://www.finaid.org/miestudantil.gov.

FGLI definition: First-generation and/or low-income students (4)

Student debt counseling and counseling

Visit your college's financial aid office and ask to meet with a financial aid counselor who can help you make informed decisions about how best to manage your debt. If you are not getting the support you need, ask to find another counselor in the office.

Visithttps://www.bestcolleges.com/research/student-debt/Learn more about student debt.

American Student Assistance (ASA) has a call center focused on providing students and their families with information on post-secondary education planning, loan repayments, and career counseling.

Please visit the following website for call center hours and instructions on how to schedule a virtual appointment:https://www.asa.org/planning/.

(Video) Preceptorial: The Danger of a Single FGLI Narrative

FGLI definition: First-generation and/or low-income students (5)

Support from parents or relatives.

Parents can learn how to support their FGLI students by participating in online communities such as Collegiateparent.com and by visiting the following websites:

FGLI definition: First-generation and/or low-income students (6)

mental health resources

Check your university's website for psychological counseling and services that may be available free of charge. To find a supportive community, join a student organization that matches your interests to make friends and build community. Find out if your university has a first-generation student club or start your own with the help of your university's student union!

Ocrisis text lineoffers free crisis counseling 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. SEND A TEXT HOME TO 741741 and you will be referred to a crisis counselor for guidance in any emergency.

You can also find free training atBeyond 12.org.

Rise First Resources for FGLI Students

Rise First currently provides the following resources for FGLI students:

  • FGLI Resource Directory:filtered by status, life stage, and resource type: grant, tool, program. Rise First has curated this database of more than 1,200 programs, grants, and tools to help first-generation learners.
  • Roadmaps for success in college:Step-by-step guides for high school and college students to help successfully transition to college and navigate the college experience.
  • FGLI Events Calendar:Virtual and in-person conferences and workshops for students, administrators, and professionals focused on increasing FGLI college enrollment, career accessibility, and student success.
  • the blogmiCOVID-19-Blog:an online space that highlights FGLI stories on resistance and resilience
  • models:a source of inspiration for FGLI students highlighting successful members of the FGLI community
  • webinars:Interviews with FGLI students and professionals from diverse backgrounds, providing insights and advice on academic, personal, and professional navigation.
  • Sobre Rise First

    Rise First is an online community dedicated to providing a one-stop-shop for all first-generation and/or low-income students and professionals to turn to for information, advice, and support. visit ourOnepage to learn more orjoin usand join us on this journey to close the achievement gap.

    follow-us notFacebook,LinkedIn, miInstagramto receive real-time updates on FGLI-related articles, tips and advice, and career-related content.

    Recordfor our newsletters on internships, employment, and career development opportunities (many are specific to FGLI students).

    (Video) Supporting First Generation Students

    DISCLAIMER:Rise First does not provide legal or financial advice and the information on this site should not be construed as such. All resources mentioned are for informational purposes only and can be used at your discretion.


    1. FGLI: Resources at the Cohen Career Center
    (FGLI at William & Mary)
    2. Curious Beginnings | Critical Role: THE MIGHTY NEIN | Episode 1
    (Geek & Sundry)
    3. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable | Luvvie Ajayi Jones
    4. "Model Citizen" | Dystopian Animated Short Film (2020)
    (Dead Sound)
    5. Racial Segregation and Concentrated Poverty: The History of Housing in Black America
    (The Root)
    6. A Millionaires Masterclass In Business, Side-Hustles and Passive Income - Mark Tilbury
    (Deep Dive with Ali Abdaal )


    Top Articles
    Latest Posts
    Article information

    Author: Tuan Roob DDS

    Last Updated: 06/09/2023

    Views: 5472

    Rating: 4.1 / 5 (42 voted)

    Reviews: 81% of readers found this page helpful

    Author information

    Name: Tuan Roob DDS

    Birthday: 1999-11-20

    Address: Suite 592 642 Pfannerstill Island, South Keila, LA 74970-3076

    Phone: +9617721773649

    Job: Marketing Producer

    Hobby: Skydiving, Flag Football, Knitting, Running, Lego building, Hunting, Juggling

    Introduction: My name is Tuan Roob DDS, I am a friendly, good, energetic, faithful, fantastic, gentle, enchanting person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.