What exactly is a first-generation college student?
A first-generation college student is someone whose parent(s) or guardian(s) do not have a 4-year college degree.  If your older sibling has completed a degree, you are still a first-generation college student.

Who can become a member of Rise Up?
As of the 2015-16 academic year, Rise Up is open to first-generation college students who are in their first, second, or third year at Cornell College.  Students who have transferred to Cornell from other institutions are welcome to join.

Is Rise Up membership a big time commitment that will conflict with my other activities?
No.  Although Rise Up members can draw on the support of the faculty and staff mentors throughout the school year, there will be no more than one required group meeting per block. Meeting times have been arranged to avoid scheduling conflicts with most athletics practices and other campus organization events.

What is the difference between Rise Up and the Office of Intercultural Life?
The Office of Intercultural Life (ICL) and the Rise Up program both support first-generation students on campus.  ICL serves all students, regardless of generational status, and covers--among other things--issues of campus diversity, cultural expression, academic success and career access.  First-generation students may choose to complement their involvement with ICL by participating in a focused group experience through the Rise Up program.  Rise Up members participate in workshops specifically designed to prepare them to become competitive applicants for experiential learning opportunities such as internships, research, off-campus study, and civic engagement.

What is the difference between Rise Up and the Berry Career Institute?
The mission of the Berry Career Institute (BCI) is to connect students to opportunities for active citizenship and professional development.  BCI offers opportunities for all Cornell students to engage in career exploration, resume building, volunteer service, and more.  Rise Up members can take advantage of the BCI's services at any time throughout their college career.  Rise Up members, however, also attend workshops specifically designed to provide targeted support for first-generation students, helping them identify exciting opportunities and navigate the various application processes.

Can third- and fourth-year students get involved in Rise Up?
Since the Rise Up programming specifically deals with the transition to college, membership in Rise Up is initially targeting first-year students. However, if students in their second, third or fourth years would like to become involved in the program, they can contact Sue Astley, the faculty director of Rise Up.  If third- or fourth-year students would like to receive one-on-one assistance with resume writing, off-campus study applications, or other career-related issues, they can contact Jason Napoli in the Berry Career Institute.