Recognizing Challenges and Predicting Success in First-Generation University Students

  • Mara S. Aruguete
  • Alina V. katrevich
Keywords: first-generation college students, academic performance, social support, critical thinking


Our study explores the challenges of first-generation students while also examining the factors that predict success in this population. We surveyed undergraduate students to compare the academic and social support needs of first-generation and continuing-generation students. First-generation students showed lower grades and critical-thinking scores compared to their peers. In addition, they reported having less faculty contact and less time for academic tasks. Academic preparedness and contact with faculty members predicted college success for first-generation students. Our results suggest that universities should continue to develop and test programs that bolster academic skills while simultaneously improving the social environment for first-generation students.