Tracing the Disadvantages of First-Generation College Students: An Application of Sussman’s Option Sequence Model

  • Margaret Brooks-Terry


Since the term “first-generation college student” entered the vocabulary of higher education specialists within the last decade, the concern has centered on the performance of these students in the academic setting. Research has shown that college students whose parents have no personal experience with university-level education have more problems in social adjustment to college, are less likely to be involved in campus organizations, and are more likely to drop out before graduation than are second-generation students. Recent programs designed to aid students in the adjustment to college [(e.g., the Freshman Year Experience programs (Gardner et al., 1987)] have been structured in part to address these problems. Little attention has been paid, however, to the social processes by which first generation college students are disadvantaged.


High Education Social Distance Financial Independence Residence Hall Generation College Student 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1988

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  • Margaret Brooks-Terry

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