Did you know that about 17% of the undergraduate student body at Stanford is first-gen and/or low income (FLI)? Stanford is committed to supporting all its students on their academic journey. And while college can sometimes be a tough experience, your Academic Advisors are here to help you along your way.
First and foremost, welcome! We know it wasn’t easy to get here, and the fact that you made it is a testament to your talent and hard work. At the same time, we know that Stanford can be a challenging environment for everyone. This page is here to offer you some general advice, let you know about important resources, and give you a place to start when it comes to navigating everything that’s out there.
Not sure how to do college? Ask your Academic Advisor!
We know that it can be dizzying to try to navigate all of Stanford’s programs, opportunities, and resources. And we also know that you may have questions that you’re not sure whom you can ask. Your Academic Advisors are here to help you. To us, there are no silly questions. Nothing is too basic or too complex to ask. And you don’t need to have a specific, well-thought out reason to schedule a meeting with us. While we can offer advice on academic issues like choosing courses, fulfilling your requirements, and applying for research grants, it’s also fine just to come talk to us to let us know how you’re doing, and chat about how college is going.
You can sign up for a meeting with us through an easy online system. It just takes a few clicks, and you don't have to ask for permission first. Many times you can sign up for a meeting with us on the same day, or on the next day. Most of us also have drop-in hours at certain days, times, and locations where you can just swing by without an appointment.
Finances and Your Academics
While your Academic Advisors don't work in the Financial Aid Office or in Student Financial Services, over the years we've picked up some useful financial tips related to your academics, which we offer below. (And be sure to check out additional sources of financial advice and support under the “Resources for Stanford Success” section of this page!) Of course, you should always contact Student Financial Services for questions about your university bill, and talk to the Financial Aid Office for official information about your financial aid package.
Track Your Course-Related Expenses
When you start taking classes, keep all of your receipts for books and course materials. If you are on financial aid, you can request additional funds if you surpass your course-related books and supplies allowance for the academic year (currently $1245). For more information, check out Financial Aid's Student Budget page. Click on the "?" next to the "Books and Supplies Allowance" to learn more.
Yes, You Can Study Abroad!
If you participate in a BOSP study abroad program during the academic year, your study abroad quarter will be covered by Financial Aid just as if it were a normal quarter on the Stanford campus. Apart from airfare, the cost of studying abroad is very similar to the cost of studying on campus. Financial Aid will generally increase your student budget by a standard amount for travel costs, and you may be eligible for a one-time grant to help with any additional study abroad costs.
Financial aid is also available for BOSP summer programs! If you are a financial aid student accepted into a quarter-long BOSP summer program (e.g. Capetown or Santiago), you may be eligible for a separate summer financial aid package. This extra summer quarter of aid comes from BOSP, and will not subtract from your twelve quarters of eligibility for Stanford financial aid. So take advantage of this opportunity!
For more information on financial aid and BOSP study abroad programs, follow these links: Financial Aid and Study Abroad (Financial Aid Office page)
Financing Study Abroad (BOSP page)
Talk to Your Academic Advisor About Financial Holds
If you ever have an enrollment hold placed on your account by Student Financial Services, keep your Academic Advisor informed of your situation. While we don't have the power to lift your financial holds, we can pass along appropriate information about your circumstances to the Registrar’s Office while you are resolving your situation. As you're waiting to enroll, we can also talk with you about how best to contact instructors, and can advise you on how to proceed if your financial hold causes you to miss any enrollment deadlines.
Resources for Stanford Success
Your Academic Advisors have seen a lot of students pass through this campus over the years. And we’ve learned that what makes for a successful Stanford student isn’t necessarily your intelligence or abilities. Getting into Stanford already demonstrates that you have talent. The most successful students learn when and how to ask for help when they need it, and aren’t afraid to make use of all the resources available to them.
That’s it. That’s the secret to Stanford success. Have the courage to ask for help, and take advantage of your resources.
- Want to thrive in your academics? Check out our page on free tutoring, academic skills coaching, and support courses to learn about all the academic resources available to you.
- It's important to find ways to focus on your health, happiness, and well-being at Stanford. Our list of wellness resources on campus can give you a place to start!
- The FLI Office offers community support, programs, mentoring, and special funding opportunities for first-generation and/or low-income students. Be sure to check out their Opportunity Fund, which can offer additional financial assistance if you’re facing an unexpected hardship (e.g. a one-time laptop repair) or pursuing an academic or professional opportunity (e.g. attending a conference).
- Stanford’s First Generation/Low Income Partnership (FLIP) is a student group dedicated to supporting and advocating for the FLI community, as well as fostering cross-class dialogue around important issues. You can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org; they will do their best to get back to you in a timely fashion! FLIP also runs the helpful we_the_flip mailing list, which can keep you informed of community events and allow you to connect with other FLI students and their allies.
- BEAM (Stanford’s career education hub) offers career resources for FLI students including a FLI alumni mentoring program, FLI career trips and alumni talks, and other programs for supporting FLI students who are exploring their career options.
- Got questions about your university bill, or about a financial hold on your account? You can talk to a representative of Student Financial Services by contacting the Student Services Center. You can also reach them by phone at 866-993-7772.
- Want to talk about your financial aid package, or about a change in your financial situation? Staff at the Financial Aid Office are available for online consultations. You can book a Financial Aid advising appointment here. You can also email them at email@example.com.
- Are you a federal work-study student? The Haas Center for Public Service runs the Community Service Work-Study Program (CSWS), which can help you find summer and academic year employment opportunities that meet your financial needs while also benefiting the community.
- Joining one of our seven community centers at Stanford can be a great way to find people you connect with. The community centers also host a number of academic resources, networking, mentorship, and leadership opportunities, and can help you get engaged with a broader community.
- Fostering Connections (co-sponsored by the FLI Office and Stanford FLIP) is a community group supporting students who are current or former foster youth, emancipated minors, and those who come from non-traditional family backgrounds. To join their mailing list, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Mind Over Money is a campus group led by Student Financial Services dedicated to helping all students learn how to make informed financial decisions during their time at Stanford and beyond. They offer special events, financial coaching sessions, and online resources to help students learn to navigate their personal finances and get their questions answered.
- The Financial Literacy FLI Guide is a FLI community publication sponsored by Mind Over Money and the FLI Office that offers strategies for navigating personal and academic expenses, making money on campus, and other important student finance topics.