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PEDAR: Executive Summary First-Generation Students in Postsecondary Education: A Look at Their College Transcripts
First-Generation Students in Postsecondary Education: A Brief Portrait
Remedial Coursetaking
Undergraduate Major
Credits Earned
Coursetaking in Selected Areas
Postsecondary Performance
Factors Related to Degree Completion and Persistence
Research Methodology
Full Report (PDF)
Executive Summary (PDF)
Postsecondary Performance

In line with their greater need for remediation, first-generation students did not perform as well as their peers whose parents were college graduates as early as the first year of college. First-generation students had lower first-year undergraduate grade point averages (GPAs) (2.5 versus 2.8) (figure E). This lower performance persisted throughout their entire undergraduate careers and was evident in many academic areas (e.g., mathematics, science, foreign language, history; table 14).

In addition to having lower GPAs, first-generation students were more likely than other students to withdraw or repeat courses they attempted. In all undergraduate courses attempted by students, the proportion of courses with withdrawal and repeat grades was 12 percent for first-generation students and 7 percent for students whose parents held a bachelor’s degree or higher.

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