First generation college students and non-first-generation college students: Perceptions of belonging

Costello, Ballin, Diamond, & Gao, 2018 / / August 2018

First generation college students (FGS), are emerging as an important demographic group for colleges and universities. Having a ‘sense of belonging’ or belonging is important to the success of all college students, especially for the retention of students who may be at risk of not completing their academic degree. The purpose of this study is to analyze differences between first generation and non-first-generation college students based on a mattering survey. Methods: Two hundred and thirty undergraduate students in one New England College participated in a study designed to uncover differences between FGS and non-first-generation college students based on responses to a mattering survey. The study utilized a questionnaire designed to capture students’ opinions on mattering. Open questions were included to inform and enrich the data.