The First-Generation, Low-Income (FGLI) Program 

Quick Links

What is FGLI?

FGLI refers generally to first-generation, lower-income, meaning, students who are the first in their families to attend college and/or who come from lower-income households. Students have also welcomed peers to participate in their community who may not strictly be FGLI but whose circumstances mirror that of FGLI students. At Penn, students pronounce it “figly” and self identify and embrace the acronym by joining organizations like Penn First, a registered student organization dedicated to creating a campus community for FGLI students through advocacy and through planning social and community building activities. FGLI student organizations were created by students, for students to help build community and create a sense of belonging and as such were designed to be inclusive of students who self identify and/or who are interested in supporting FGLI students. For a list of student organizations other than Penn First, see list below.

The FGLI Program

The First-Generation, Low-Income (FGLI) Program opened in in 2016 at the Greenfield Intercultural Center (GIC), part of University Life. The FGLI Program supports students’ social transition and personal needs while facilitating community-building and a sense of belonging. For a list of initiatives designed by FGLI students in partnership with GIC, see below.

  • Please note that students who self identify as FGLI or who are allies are welcome to participate. This is a student created community. 
  • For formal questions on financial aid eligibility for highly aided students and access to university resources, please reach out to your SFS counselor or to the Penn First Plus office.

Textbooks and E-codes

The GIC’s donated book library has moved to Penn Libraries.The donated textbook collection is a supplemental resource within Penn Libraries to support students.

  • To save on textbook $$, take full advantage of ALL of the resources at Penn Libraries. This link will also walk you through how to sign-on to GIC community and in order to borrow textbooks from the GIC Collection at Penn Library.
  • Students can consult with their Financial Aid advisers and review their aid packages to understand what funding sources in their aid package are designated to help them acquire their course materials.
  • Connect with the Penn First Plus office to request assistance with textbook codes.

GIC Community Pantry

The GIC Pantry was established in 2016 in partnership with FGLI student organizations to support students trying to stretch limited budgets.

Running to class and did not get a chance to grab breakfast? No time to shop or cook in a busy week? If so, consider stopping by the GIC to pick up some microwaveable breakfast or some non-perishable items to cook a quick meal on a busy day. We are located at 3708 Chestnut Street. Questions? Email Patricia Soria

Learning Communities

Studying in a comfortable environment with peers who share similar experiences and identities can make a course seem less intimidating. With this in mind, the Weingarten Center collaborates with the GIC to support First-Generation Low-Income (FGLI) students each semester by offering facilitated study groups for two courses based on demand.

The FGLI Program Learning Communities for fall 2021 are listed below:

  • MATH 104, Tuesdays 6:00 – 7:30 p.m., GIC Patio and Patio room  
  • ECON 001, Wednesdays 6:30 – 8:00 p.m., Location: TBD


Penn FLASH is an extended family knowledge sharing network. The knowledge sharing takes place between current Penn students and Penn Alumni, or alumni to alumni. The tool is designed to help FGLI students build a cohesive network and career-building skills as they journey through Penn and beyond.

FruiTea Conversations

FruiTea is an inclusive safe space dedicated to re-exploring various aspects of one’s cultural identity. Our gathering starts with people sharing their drawings on a broad ice-breaker topic. During the sharing of the ice-breaker, organic conversations then begin to flourish. Everyone is welcome to join.
FruiTea meets weekly on Wednesday nights between 7-8 p.m. at the GIC.


FGLI Café brings together the FGLI community for a time to find encouragement and inspiration. Just like a café there is always a “Special of the Day” — this can be a person, student organization, or a theme.

FGLI Student Groups