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First Generation College Students: Additional Evidence On College Experiences and Outcomes

Pascarella, Pierson, Wolniak, & Terenzini, 2004 / The Journal of Higher Education / June 2004


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The growing demographic diversity of the undergraduate student body in American postsecondary education has been well documented over an extended period of time. One result of this increased diversity is the substantial number of “first-generation” college students from families where neither parent had more than a high-school education. For example, using results from the National Center for Education Statistics Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal Study, Choy (2001) points out that in 1995–96, 34% of students entering the nation’s four-year institutions and 53% of students starting at two-year colleges were first-generation students.

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