To be first : exploring experiences of first-generation college students at Hamilton University

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Princess I. King (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Kathy Hytten

Abstract: First generation college students continue to grow in number on college campuses across the United States. As college becomes more accessible, students who would be first in their families to attend and graduate with a four-year degree are taking advantage of their opportunity at higher education. However, the experiences of those students are highly variable. The rationale for this study came from my desire to gain a deeper understanding of the academic and social experiences of first-generation students who are not participants in cohort programs that provide on-going support through college completion. Therefore, this basic qualitative study explored (a) how the experiences of first-generation college students differed across socioeconomic backgrounds and cohort status, (b) how barriers and or challenges impacted first-generation students at a private liberal arts institution, and (c) how non-cohorted first-generation college students leveraged campus resources. The study was guided by both a constructivist and interpretivist framework to assess the lived experiences of non-cohorted first generation students. Using Social Identity theory, this study examined the challenges, life circumstances, and resilience of thirteen first-generation students navigating college. Findings from this study were derived from in-depth 1-1 interviews. The significance of the findings from this study have potential to contribute to on-going support initiatives developed for first generation students at private predominately white institutions, as well as adding to the wealth of scholarship in first-generation research.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2021
College Experience, College Student, First Generation, Firstgen, Low Income, Private College
First-generation college students
Private universities and colleges
Education, Higher $x Social aspects

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