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First-Generation College-Goers Lag in Earning Degrees

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Students who are the first generation of their families to attend college lag behind children of college-educated parents in earning bachelor's degrees, according to a federal study.

Released Aug. 9 by the National Center for Education Statistics of the U.S. Department of Education, the study is based on high school and college transcript data for a nationally representative sample of students who graduated from high school in 1992. Over the next eight years, researchers found, the first-generation college students in the sample accumulated fewer academic credits, took more remedial courses, and were more likely than their peers with college-educated parents to fall short of earning a degree.

Even so, the first-generation students were just as likely to persist in school, whether in community college or some other form of postsecondary study, as their more advantaged peers.

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