Successful Minority Females Who Were Underprivileged First-Generation College Students at Predominantly White Institutions

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The federal government and accreditation boards are making colleges accountable for their students’ success by measuring their outcomes. Institutional Research of Colleges must make available on their website their graduate outcomes so the public can easily find that information. Retention is a problem for higher education and especially for first-generation college students (FGCS). They are taking more than four years to graduate from colleges while they are raking a pile of debts. There are some studies about the retention of men only because an institution of higher education always had more male students. But no significant studies are done about women and especially of those who are FGCS of low-income of a minority (LIM) background. The trend is that future college students will be mostly of minority background, and increasingly women. This is qualitative research to interview five FGCS-LIM women. It was truly fortunate that the five participants happened to be diverse with totally different familial, educational, and career backgrounds which enhanced the credibility of the great common motivators that made them successful in their studies. The results of interviews conducted, provided common themes found were certain capitals were inherited from their parents “Capitals from Parents” and other capitals were acquired during their college journey “Capitals from Colleges”. Those capitals promoted and supported their success at their different predominantly White universities. This research provides suggestions to university enrollment administrators to promote the retention of FGCSLIM women.

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  • 11/30/2023
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