Students whose parents didn’t go to college are less likely to enroll in challenging courses than peers whose parents had earned bachelor’s degrees,.
The report draws on the experiences of more than 45,000 students in three ongoing longitudinal studies. Among those who graduated from high school in 2003-04, 44 percent of the students with college-educated parents earned college credit through Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate courses, compared to 18 percent of the first-generation students. First-generation students were less likely to choose an “academically focused curriculum,” too, which NCES defines as four years of English, two credits of the same foreign language, three years of math including a course higher than Algebra 2, three years of science including one class higher than general biology, and three years of social studies including U.S. history or world history.
A version of this article appeared in the February 14, 2018 edition of Education Week as College Readiness