The Effects of First-Generation Status and Financial Aid on Technical College Students’ Academic Performance: A Longitudinal Study

Venegas-Muggli / Community College Journal of Research and Practice / December 2020

two happy students reading in library

This article examines the role of first-generation status and financial aid on the academic performance of technical college students who are beneficiaries of a fee-free policy. Students enrolled in two-year technical programs in 2017 at Chile’s largest higher education institution were considered. A quantitative panel longitudinal design was used as the effect of first-generation status and financial aid on students’ academic results was estimated over their four terms of study. The results suggest that first-generation students have lower average marks than their continuing-generation counterparts. Likewise, it can be seen that beneficiaries of the fee-free policy perform worse academically than non-beneficiaries. It can also be seen that the negative effect of first-generation status is greater for women than men and that the magnitude of financial aid’s negative effect is greater for women and older students. Policy implications are discussed.