The Impact of Key Factors on the Transition From High School to College Among First-Generation and Second-Generation Students

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Journal of The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition


This study proposed to describe and understand the transition experiences of first-generation college students in comparison to second-generation college students by examining the frequency of activities linked to the transition process and the helpfulness of these behaviors for students at a medium-size state university in the Southeast. Parents, friends, high school teachers and guidance counselors, college professors and academic advisors, college orientation programs, and first-year seminars play a role in facilitating students' transition from high school to college. The study found that key factors (those listed above) reduced the generational effect but certain control variables including high school GPA, receipt of a scholarship, and an academic ethic make the most difference in college GPA and quality of transition to college.