First Generation Students Face Disadvantages, Culture Shock

Career College Central summary:

  • According to a 2010 study by Melinda Gibbons and DiAnne Borders, students classified as first generation are more than likely a minority, likely to be from lower income families and have lower academic achievement. These students also are less likely to graduate from college once they attend.
  • First generation students view college is entirely different – first generation students consider college a serious responsibility and the only way to get a high-paying job. Second generation students often consider college a time to find themselves or get to know fellow students.
  • First generation students tend to slip through the cracks at large institutions because they don’t have social support or simply the knowledge of how a university may operate. They are much less likely to contest a professor’s grade or reach out for help when it’s necessary.
  • In the study by Gibbons and Borders, authors investigated middle school students who would potentially be first generation college students. In seventh grade, these potential first generation students already perceived barriers related to finances, family issues, racial and ethnic discrimination, lack of college-educated role models, lack of college-planning guidance, negative educational role models and lack of preparation.

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USA TODAY

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