Parent–Student Communication About College and Freshman Grades in First-Generation and Non–First-Generation Students

Palbusa & Gauvain / / January 2017

First-generation college students are students whose parents did not attend and finish college (Engle, 2007). These students enter college with less knowledge of college activities and expectations, and they have less social support at home regarding college issues during this transition relative to students whose parents went to college (Engle, 2007; Pascarella & Terenzini, 2005). These experiences may affect the college success of first-generation students, which is borne out by research on their academic vulnerability. First-generation students are more likely to have lower first-semester grades and drop out in the first year of college compared to their non–first-generation peers (Ishitani, 2006; Riehl, 1994). First-generation students also report feeling less prepared for college and more fearful of failure than students whose parents went to college (Bui, 2002).