FAQs: First-Generation / Low Income Students

Emory University believes all students deserve the opportunity to reach their highest potential, regardless of family background or financial status. Through our First-Generation Low-Income Program (FLIP), we offer various resources to help ensure these students have a seamless and successful transition to life on campus. We are enhancing existing programs and launching new initiatives to strengthen support for our first-generation and low-income students, making Emory a stronger institution overall. To learn more about FLIP, please review the following FAQs.


Is it possible to have Emory's application fee waived?

The $75 application fee is waived for all applicants using the QuestBridge application. Fee waivers are also provided to applicants working with selected community-based organizations. This year we focused on the National Hispanic Institute scholars.

Students seeking admission through the Common Application or Coalition Application can obtain waivers by meeting any one of the eligibility requirements as dictated by their sites.

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Will Emory waive the enrollment deposit?

Yes. The $485 enrollment deposit is waived for all admitted students with an Expected Family Contribution (EFC), on which our financial aid offer is based, below $6,000.

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How can I access a refund to my account in a timely manner?

Students whose application materials are submitted on-time, even a month late, will have a refund available about 10 days prior to classes starting. This will help them purchase books. Students who receive a late refund probably also filed late applications – or have applications that were both late and audited (verified) based on federal rules. Per a new federal government policy, students applying in 2017 need to provide only 2015 tax returns (two years prior). The policy change should reduce late application submissions, since many students would not yet have 2016 taxes completed. That will be the policy going forward (e.g., 2018 applicants will need 2016 taxes, etc.).

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Can first-generation/low-income students get financial assistance to buy textbooks?

The Emory Lending Library has textbooks and other educational materials that students can check out for an entire semester. Subject areas include humanities, language, literature, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

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What programs or resources does Emory have in place to assist with campus visits for first-generation or students from other underrepresented groups?

Emory’s Cultural Overnight Recruitment Experience (CORE) is a two-night/three-day, fall-visit program for prospective students from first-generation and/or underrepresented cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. All expenses are paid and the program accommodates 60-70 students.

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What is the Essence of Emory Program?

The Essence of Emory Program is an invitation-only program for admitted students from underrepresented backgrounds who have demonstrated high academic achievement. The program is held in the spring and all student expenses are paid, including travel.

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Am I eligible for the Emory Advantage Program? What about the Loan Cap Program?

Emory Advantage is a financial aid initiative that makes education costs more accessible and affordable. Families who have financial need and total incomes of $50,000 or less receive a Loan Replacement Grant. This grant replaces the Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan that is normally in a financial aid package. (For first-year students, the loan expectation is typically $3,500.) The Loan Cap Program limits total four-year Stafford Loan debt to $15,000 for families with incomes between $50,000 and $100,000.

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Is Emory taking specific steps to make first-generation students feel welcome on campus?

Yes. We integrated first-generation/low-income concerns into our inclusion training for resident and student assistants this year. Residence Life is partnering with other Campus Life organizations to create seven spaces around the campus to serve students in crisis or need.

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Suppose I want or need to work while I'm in school?

Emory’s Career Center offers the Civic Scholars Program to address costs associated with unfunded internships. The center also covers some travel costs on a case-by-case basis for off-campus interviews, and the Clothing Closet assists with professional attire at no charge. In addition, the center hosts a diversity career fair in fall semester for employers seeking to hire underrepresented students.

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School can be overwhelming; where can I turn if I really need some help or guidance?

To meet the needs of our students, Emory offers a range of health-related programs through various Campus Life offices. These include medical services, psychological counseling, crisis intervention, initial assessments, brief individual and couples’ therapy, group therapy, support/discussion groups, biofeedback clinic, community-level interventions, and classes on stress management and emotion regulation.

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What if my family experiences a minor financial hardship that reduces their support for me?

The Office of Student Success Programs and Services (OSSPS) offers micro grants to assist students with food, travel, and other expenses associated with curricular or co-curricular activities. Micro grants vary in amount – typically $200 or less – although larger initiatives are available upon successful application. OSSPS assists students and their families on an ongoing basis and in times of crisis including academic, medical, financial, and social challenges.

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Does the university offer assistance for first-generation students who are graduating and need help buying their regalia?

Emory’s bookstore provides $25 scholarships to assist eligible students with purchasing their graduation regalia. It has also negotiated a lower fee with vendors that provide regalia to greatly reduce the cost for students.

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How can I keep track of Emory's progress in supporting first-generation/low-income?

Please check out our FLIP progress report, which we will update, as needed.

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