Is A First Generation College Student?

1770 WordsDec 20, 20158 Pages
What Does it Mean to be a First-Generation College Student? Obtaining a degree remains one of the most important pathways to economic and social class in the United States (U.S.), regardless of rising tuition costs and the value of having a higher education coming in to question. Of the 20.6 million students enrolled in a college or university, first-generation college students represents about one-third (The Institute for Higher Education Policy, 2012). These group of individuals are more likely to encounter academic, financial, professional, cultural, and emotional difficulties (Sanez, Hurtado, Barrera, Wolf, and Yeung, 2007). The shift from high school to college involves a change in identity from a simple high school student to a professional college undergraduate. According to Stephen et al (2012) the school system focuses on “independent” variables, while first generation students need a more “interdependent” environment to thrive. These two variables will be explained in more depth further in the paper. Also, other research articles found that first-generation college student (FGCS) cannot benefit from their parents’ experiences in preparing for and applying to college (Sanez et al, 2007). As a result, FGCS are less exposed to the support and other contributing aspects that provide preparation to their peers, continuing-generation student (CGS), as they go through college (Mehta et al, 2011). Over the years, government policy has enable more FGCS to attain access
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