Re-imagining UVA as a place where first generation and lower income students thrive

    What steps can we take to create a space of belonging for all?

  • Some quick facts on First Gen & Low Income Students at UVA

    Percent of students from the top 1% of the income bracket enrolled



    Percent of students from the top 5% of the income bracket enrolled



    Percent of students from the top 10% of the income bracket enrolled



    Percent of students from the bottom 20% of the income bracket enrolled



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    *Enrollment at peer institutions are depicted in yellow

  • The Team

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    Students in LPPP 2500 (2019)

    Focus Group Masters

    Nineteen students from across the university worked toward building our knowledge base on the experiences of lower income and first generation students.

  • Steering Committee & Project Allies

    Bryan Christ

    Founder & Director, Rise up

    Research Associate; Project First Gen+

    Bryan is a Master of Public Policy candidate at the Frank Batten School of Leadership & Public Policy. He is also the founder of Rise Up, a nonprofit designed to provide mentorship to lower income and potential first generation students. Bryan is taking lead on analyzing the student experience survey data.

    Josh Farris

    Conference Chair, AL1GN (2019)

    Curriculum Design Consultant (project alumni)

    Josh graduated from the University of Virginia in 2019. During his last two years at UVA, he became increasingly involved in activism for first generation and low income college students. He led the team to host the AL1GN conference at UVA and served as a curriculum design consultant for Project First Gen @ UVA.

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    Paul Martin

    Co-instructor, Project First Gen+ @ UVA

    Paul Martin was a first-generation university student. At Batten, Prof. Martin teaches course on political institutions and the policy process, advocacy, nonprofits, and on politics and policies of conflict and peacemaking. As an undergrad, Paul worked for university security hunting for stolen bicycles, waited tables and tended bar in lots of restaurants, and for a research center.

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    Michele Claibourn

    Co-instructor, Project First Gen+ @ UVA

    Michele Claibourn was a first-generation university student from Oklahoma. She is now a computational social scientist working in the library and the data science institute. She teaches data science classes and a Public Interest Data Lab, where students gain practice using data skills to advance social justice. As an undergrad, Michele washed dishes in the dining hall and served food in the faculty club (where every shift at both jobs came with a free meal!), and worked as a research assistant.

    Isaiah Brown

    First Generation Low Income Partnership (FLIP)

    Isaiah bio here.

    Brandon Thompson

    Hoo's First Look

    Brandon's bio here bio here.

    Ellie Brasacchio

    Student Council President, 2019-2020

    Ellie bio here.

  • Institutional Re & Organizational Partners

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    FLIP: First Generation Low Income Partnership at UVA


    FLIP at UVA is a student organization aimed to support low income and/or first-generation students and allies at the University of Virginia. The purpose of FLIP is three-fold:

    1. to build a community on campus for students who identify as first generation and/or low income

    2. to create resources and work to maximize equal access to resources for those students who need them

    3. to advocate for and implement institutional change with the help of the institution.


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    Hoos First Look

    Hoos First Look is an annual three-day, two-night fly-in/gas-reimbursement and academic enrichment program in the Fall semester, running from Friday to Sunday. Everything, including meals, transportation, housing, activity materials, and miscellaneous items will be provided to 20 low-income/first-generation, rising juniors in high school. The program focuses on giving these prospective students the experience of being on a college campus, providing them with resources on the college-application process and financial aid/scholarships, forming strong friendships with each other and mentors, empowering them to achieve academic and personal success, and inciting interest in UVA.


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    Hoos First

    Access & First Generation Student Support , UVA Office of the Dean of Students

    The Office of the Dean of Students works to provide comprehensive support services and programs to create equitable educational opportunities for all students across grounds. This includes all students participating in the Access UVA financial aid program, first-generation college students, independent students, non-traditional students, undergraduate, graduate, and professional students.


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    Rise Together

    Rise Together is a nonprofit, outcome-driven team mentoring program that connects University of Virginia (UVA) students with K-12 youth in Albemarle County by providing consistent tutoring, leadership training, workforce readiness, entrepreneurial experience, and service learning opportunities designed to promote positive social norms, wellness, personal achievement, and build novel collaborative relationships between UVA and the community.


  • Contact Us

    Don't be afraid to reach out.

    Frank Batten School of Leadership & Public Policy; University of Virginia