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Essay on Risk Factors for Freshman in Their First Year College Experience

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At the turn of the 20th century, the majority of college students were white male adolescents, primarily the sons of doctors, lawyers, ministers, prosperous merchants, and well-to-do farmers (Jenkins, Miyazaki, and Janosi). First generation college students are a new demographic when it comes to the college population. First generation students are the first in their family to attend college and plan to be the first in their family that graduate. According to data provided by the National Center for Education Statistics, First Generation Students make up 43% of the student population (Nunez, Cuccaro-Alamin, and Carroll.). This is a completely new demographic compared to the prior population of student bodies. Today’s society stresses the importance of college degrees and has been a drastic increase in first generation students. Despite the fact that many students have already passed the initial barrier of applying and being admitted to college, there are many challenges these students face that non-first generation students do not experience. However, the majority of these students face risk factors in their college experience that non-first generation college students do not experience. One of the main differences I have notice is the lack of participation of first generation college students in campus activities, clubs, or organization. Campus engagement is known to enhance a student’s academic and personal development. Student’s involved in extracurricular activities learn to work, communicate, and problem solve with others. They have more developed ideas, beliefs, and opinions. They also have more self-esteem and speaking skills which will definitely help them once they graduate and enter the job market. With all of the benef...


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...lege peers, the necessity to work while in college, racial and ethnicity differences, and being a mother can complicate the hardships more. One thing we know that is beneficial for college students is to get engaged on campus. It will help academically, socially, personally, and hopefully in the future economically. However, to create an institutional environment that is fair and equal to all students would be to cater to the needs of all demographics. We have established the first generation students are a new demographic and it is necessary to help the needs of this group of students. Until the system makes it easier for those who want to earn a degree to do so while maintaining other responsibilities, the number of students with some college education, but no degree to show for it, will be a continuing challenge for the higher education industry (Unknown).









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