Statement of Problem

Statement of ProblemFirst-generation college students are individuals whose parents did not attend, nor graduate from, college. Parental education is a key predictive measure of both college enrollment and degree completion for students from all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Students whose parents are college-educated (i.e., parents with at least some post-secondary education experience) tend to have an advantage over their first-generation peers in navigating the higher education landscape.

Parents who have completed a college degree tend to have better access to financial, informational, and social resources—cultural capital. In effect, students with college-educated parents have greater social and/or cultural capital and enhanced access to resources through their family relationships and social networks. For first-generation students, a lack of social and cultural capital can undermine access to financial resources and can thwart degree completion efforts. These factors contribute to less informed decisions about the college application process, college selection, and academic, co-curricular, and extracurricular choices while attending college.

Relative to their peers, first-generation students have poorer academic preparation and varying levels of parental support and involvement. First-generation students also face significant obstacles in their path to academic success and degree completion.