Undocumented, First-Generation College and Low-Income Student Center
The Undocumented, First-Generation College and Low-Income Student Center (U-FLi Center), founded in the fall of 2016, is a communal, learning, and advocacy center for members of the Brown community who identify with the undocumented, first-generation college and/or low-income student experience (U-FLi). The U-FLi Center aims to contribute to the endurance of U-FLi students by providing them with a dedicated space and programming that values their lived experiences as they navigate an elite, historically white institution and acknowledges the impact of the current socio-political climate on their academic well-being.
By utilizing an equity-asset-based approach (EAB) as our grounding framework for student support, we place value on the strengths, assets and knowledge that U-FLi students already bring with them when they enter our institution. The center amplifies the following assets through our intersectional programing and strength-based advising in order to provide students with the navigational tools to thrive at Brown: 1) collectivism, (2) resistance, (3) self-reliance and (4) reflexivity.
While the term "first-generation college student" is defined as a student whose parents did not complete a four-year college education, at Brown we encourage students to think of the term more broadly. We welcome any student who self-identifies as having minimal prior exposure to or knowledge of experiences like those at Brown.
As far as the term "low-income students," there is no income level that determines eligibility for students to take advantage of the community and programs of the U-FLi Center, though generally engaged students have little or no expected parent contribution as part of their financial aid package. Students who advocated for the inclusion of low-income students in the title of the Center had powerful stories for how their experience as low-income impacted their time at Brown and both the impact of finding a community and the desire for increased coordination of support.