Bridging the Gap: Academic Preparation and Postsecondary Success of First-Generation Students

Warburton, Bugarin, Nunez, 2001 / U.S. Department of Education / National Center for Educational Statistics / May 2001

teacher blurred out students

This study examines whether first-gen students, who were otherwise equally prepared academically, were comparable to continuing-gen students in terms of GPA, remediation, and academic persistence. Findings indicate students who were well prepared for college were likely to persist in four-year institutions. Students who took rigorous coursework in high school accounted for 80% of those who stayed on to complete or were retained at their initial institution. Parental education was associated with rates of student retention and persistence in college, even when controlling for measures of academic preparedness such as rigor of curriculum and college entrance exam scores. These findings hold true even when other related variables are held constant.