First-generation college students are defined as students who are the first in their family to attend and complete college. For the purpose of this entry, the term first generation specifically applies to students who are the first in their family to earn a 4-year (bachelor's) college degree.

First-generation college students require attention and direct support in higher education because their pathway and success in college is tenuous. Many first-generation students attended high schools that did not appropriately prepare them for success in higher education, largely because they are a group most likely to attend high schools in economically impoverished areas. Thus, high school and community resources that would provide students with a foundation for success in college are more likely to be limited. Yet, these students ...

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