First-Generation / Low-Income
Program for Student Success

The First-Generation-to-College/Low-Income Program for Student Success (FLIPS) aims to support FG/LI students and their families throughout their Colby career. The program provides a foundation for success rooted in a holistic identity-development model designed to foster an increased sense of belonging within the Colby community.

Your transition to Colby and your Colby experience will present new opportunities. It is important to recognize that you may have a unique experience at Colby as a first-generation student. This experience may include a new sense of freedom, culture shock, and academic challenges. Having a support system that is knowledgeable about college, particularly elite institutions, is an advantage. We aim to provide you with the support and preparation necessary to learn, grow, and thrive.

Program Elements and Resources

At Colby, students whose parents or guardians did not attend or complete a four-year college experience, and who indicated this on their admissions application, are considered first generation to college. In addition, students matched with Colby through our partnership with QuestBridge are identified/considered low-income students.

For the incoming Class of 2023, all FG/LI students will be contacted by the Pugh Center about the FG/LI program by June 7, 2019. If you are not contacted by that date, please contact the Pugh Center at 207-859-5936 or

The FG/LI Student Success Program offers a pre-orientation program to a limited number of FG/LI first-year students and their families. The FG/LI pre-orientation focuses on the transition to college and provides important information sessions about the FG/LI Student Program and academic/social life, off-campus activities, and community-building opportunities.

The program is designed to engage students through a tiered cohort model where students interact as a whole cohort, while also building community through their smaller, peer mentor-led cohorts.

Additional information for the Class of 2023 FG/LI pre-orientation will be sent via a welcome email prior to June 7, 2019.

The program provides incoming FG/LI students the opportunity to build connections through a cohort of 5-8 other FG/LI students led by a trained upperclass student who will serve as their mentor for the school year.

Mentors will help provide support for challenges faced by their mentees through discussions and programming within and across the other four cohorts. Mentors will be equipped with knowledge of the school as well as have access to a greater support network for their mentees. The entire program consists of five total cohorts.

Those who have not been matched with a mentor through the pre-orientation in the program, but would like to be matched with a mentor, please email

The Pugh Center sponsors a variety of opportunities throughout the year to support identity development, academic success, career readiness, and other important skills for college students.

Each year the program coordinates trips for mentees and their mentors to build community and explore Maine. In addition, some programs focus on connecting FG/LI first-years with upperclass students, faculty members, and even FG/LI students from surrounding colleges.

The program organizes on-going programming for FG/LI students throughout their sophomore through senior years to support their continued success at Colby. These programs include sessions on internships, life after Colby, on-campus opportunities, wellness, and more.

  • Misael Beltran-Guzman ’22, he/him, FG/LI Student Fellow
  • Giselle Castro ’20, she/her, FG/LI Student Fellow
  • Bethashley Cajuste ’20, she/her, FG/LI Peer Mentor
  • Nicole Byrd ’21, she/her, FG/LI Peer Mentor
  • Taha Akhtar ’22, he/him, FG/LI Peer Mentor
  • Felicia Huerta ’22, she/her, FG/LI Peer Mentor
  • Nhi Trinh ’22, she/her, FG/LI Peer Mentor

Academic Support

    Farnham Writers’ Center

    The Farnham Writers’ Center works with students, faculty, staff, and local schools on all aspects of writing. We seek to further a culture of writing at Colby and in the community through peer tutoring, faculty support, and special writing events.

    As a writing resource, we provide information on good writing practices and guidance on grammar and documentation to the Colby community and online visitors. Sign up for an appointment.

    Multilingual Tutoring

    The Farnham Writers’ Center also trains tutors to support students regardless of background or language proficiency. If you need additional help, please reach out to our multilingual writing specialist, Ghada Gherwash.

    Personal Librarian

    Each Colby student is assigned a personal librarian. They aid students in research and teach them to utilize Colby’s libraries, the Colby, Bates, Bowdoin catalog, along with other resources available to Colby students. Learn more about the program and how to meet your librarian.

    First-Year Writing Courses

    These courses, known as W1, are mandatory writing seminars. They are designed to introduce you to college-level academic writing through the lens of various topics. Past classes have included New York City and the Science of Crime and Space, Place.

    Writers’ Workshop

    The Writers’ Workshop, WP112fs, is a non-graded, one-credit course also offered through the FWC. It is individualized one-on-one writing assistance. We encourage you to do the writing program at the same time you take the W1.

    Faculty Office Hours

    Office hours are scheduled times set aside by all Colby faculty. During these times, students can go to professors’ offices to receive help with class work or general advice on the course. Take advantage of these opportunities to get extra help with homework or to get to know your professor.


      Concord Coach Lines run from Colby’s athletic center to Portland, Boston’s South Station, Logan Airport, and all across Maine. From Boston, connections can be made to locations in Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey. Buses typically run every day that school is in session. Greyhound buses run from the Waterville bus station at 320 Kennedy Memorial Drive.


      There are several taxi services available to and from Colby for trips into Waterville.

      • Elite Taxi: 207-872-2221
      • Cheap Taxi: 207-872-2300
      • Pine Tree Cab: 207-465-2304

      The Jitney

      Colby offers a free service called the Jitney that takes students all over Waterville. It departs from outside the Pugh Center starting at 2 p.m. every day. The service ends at midnight Sunday through Thursday and at 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

      Zipcar Program

      Have a license? If you become a Colby certified driver, you can participate in the Zipcar Program and rent one of our three Zipcars. Find more info at

      Shuttle Service

      Colby also offers a free shuttle service that makes stops in downtown Waterville on a 45-minute loop. The shuttle runs Thursday and Friday with stops at Walmart, Main Street, Gilman Street, and Colby’s Pugh Center.

        Health Insurance

        A select group of students qualify to be part of Colby’s health plan at no cost or reduced cost. In some cases, Colby’s health plan may be more comprehensive and/or a more convenient plan than the one you had prior to Colby—especially if you hail from out of state. Compare your current plan with Colby’s to make the best decision for you. Regardless of your insurance, students can access Colby’s Health and Counseling Services free of charge. The fully staffed centers can assist in many of your health care needs.

        Library Services

        Students are able to check out books for free from Colby’s library system. Books can be checked out for 28 days at a time but many can be renewed throughout the term.

        CTA Search for your textbook.

        Colby is also partnered with NExpress, MaineCat, and CBBCat to offer students access to a wide range of databases free of charge. You can check out a book for four weeks at a time using NExpress and you can often renew these texts (unless the lending library, i.e. Bowdoin, needs the book back). MaineCat books can be checked out for two-and-a-half to three weeks at a time using this system.

        Book Fund

        The book fund is a limited resource and can be requested once during an academic year. In order to gain access to the fund, students must contact their class dean. If the needed support exceeds what the book fund can cover, we encourage students to meet with Student Financial Services and/or their class deans to discuss additional resources for current and on-going support.


        Miller, Olin, and Bixler libraries have loaner laptops to check out. Each library has both Macs and PCs, as well as extra adapters and headphones. If you need help securing a personal laptop, contact Cindy Wells in Student Financial Services. Additionally, the Dean of Students Office offers a few laptops. Incoming students receive priority for obtaining these refurbished laptops. Please contact your advising dean to secure a laptop.

        Graphing Calculators

        Graphing calculators, both TI-83 Plus and BA II Plus, are available in Miller Library and Olin Science Library for student use. These calculators can be checked out using your Colby card for four hours at a time.

        Colby’s RESCUE

        Recycle Everything, Save Colby’s Usable Excess—RESCUE—has an enormous yard sale usually on the first day of orientation (Aug. 27, 2019). Here you can purchase many residence hall room items such as lamps, carpets, trashcans, refrigerators, microwaves, and more. Refer to your orientation packet for specific information.