The challenges faced by first-generation college students are well-documented, and according to new data, some of those hurdles begin to crop up in high school.
A research brief from the National Center for Education Statistics found that students whose parents did not go to college were less likely to enroll in challenging high school courses than their peers.
Prospective first-generation college students cite high educational aspirations as 10th graders, but take longer to enroll in college and are less likely than their peers to earn a degree.
Those findings are included in a new research brief from the US Department of Education’s Institute of Educational Sciences. The report uses 10 years of data collected from a nationally representative sample of students who were high school sophomores in 2002.
David Hernández is an assistant professor of Latino/a studies at Mount Holyoke College. But before joining academia, he was a first-generation university student.
Having experienced university life from two perspectives, Hernández recently reflected on what would have helped make college more accessible to him the first time around.
He wrote a personal essay featured in The Chronicle of Higher Education that shares his experience as an 18-year-old and asks, “What could today’s universities and colleges do differently for a student like me?”