As a small liberal-arts college, Cornell provides a great environment for first-generation college students.  The close contact with faculty and staff, small class sizes, and academic challenge are just what first-generation students need.  And, first-generation students at Cornell have many qualities that prime them for success – independence, an ability to take initiative, social skills, and an excellent work ethic.

But first-generation students, even those with a very supportive family, often lack information about what is necessary in college and about the variety of careers that are available for someone with a college degree.  These students may miss important pre-professional experiences while at Cornell.

Rise Up was designed to help first-generation students learn about careers and pre-professional opportunities at Cornell.  We help students develop skills that will increase their ability to obtain internships, Cornell Fellowships, and off-campus study opportunities.

Rise Up Workshops are designed for the student’s year at Cornell, whether that be First Year, Sophomore, Junior, or Senior.  Rise Up to students who are active in the program (i.e., who attend most of the Workshops) and are academically strong are eligible for funding for a Cornell Fellowship during the Junior or Senior year.  Those who have high financial need can apply for for partial funding for a professionally-relevant off-campus study experience.  

Students must complete a simple application to be a part of Rise Up.  Students generally join Rise Up during their first-year at Cornell to take the most advantage of its benefits.  The program is appropriate for all students whose parents have not completed a 4-year degree, who have had little contact with a college-educated parent(s), or whose parents completed a 4-year college degree outside the United States.

The Rise Up program at Cornell is supported by a generous grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations.