Alliance for the Low-Income and First-Generation Narrative

Supporting first-generation and low-income (FGLI) students in higher education.

The research


Many Americans view higher education as an essential tool for success and social mobility in the U.S., but access to higher education remains limited, especially as costs continue to rise. When they do enroll, first-generation students can’t rely on their parents‘ college experiences to guide them – a valuable resource that helps students navigate college. Low-income students are more likely to struggle with the high cost of college and in response may have to borrow significant loans or work throughout college. Many experience food insecurity and homelessness.

At AL1GN, we believe in the strength and perseverance of FGLI students, even in the face of systemic barriers, high costs, and family responsibilities. We believe that FGLI students have what it takes to not only finish college, but flourish, and leave confident in their ability to thrive. Our conferences present students and staff with the knowledge and tools to return home and enact impactful programming, such as community food pantries, student-led coalitions, and more. Students leave feeling empowered to finish their degree and implement positive change at their home institutions.

Our coalition

Who We Serve

First-generation college students: a student whose parents did not complete a 4-year (Bachelor’s) degree within the U.S. We encourage our students to self-identify as first-gen and don’t use a specific definition.

Low-income college students: students who qualify for the Pell Grant or other forms of government assistance. We encourage our students to self-identify as low-income and don’t use a specific income threshold.

Faculty, staff and administrators: professionals and university officials working to support first-generation and low-income college students across the country.

AL1GN 2022: A Message

The past 2 years have presented everyone with significant challenges and difficulties, especially students and higher ed personnel.

Because our conference series relies on the activism and skills of student organizers, we’ve decided to cancel our annual national conference for 2022. A year off will give us time to plan for our future, and give our student organizers time to recover and rejuvenate.

In the meantime, please stay safe and heed the advice of public health officials. We hope to see you again in 2023.

Much love,

Chris and Michaela, AL1GN Co-Directors

Get to know us better

Our Coalition in Numbers


annual national conferences


colleges and universities served


college students, faculty, staff, and administrators in our network


by FGLI, for FGLI

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