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Potentially first generation to college kids are common...

ucbalumnusucbalumnus 79062 replies702 threads Senior Member
According to http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2018/11/15/early-benchmarks-show-post-millennials-on-track-to-be-most-diverse-best-educated-generation-yet/ , 43% of 6-17 year old kids in 2018 live with a bachelor's degreed parent. In other words, 57% are potentially first generation to college, if they go to college.

But going to college is less common among such kids than it is for those living with a bachelor's degreed parent.

However, the current generation is attending college at a higher rate than past generations.
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Replies to: Potentially first generation to college kids are common...

  • CCtoAlaskaCCtoAlaska 579 replies4 threads Member
    19% of Harvard's freshman class this year are first gens. First gens are the future of this country and the elite schools want in in a big way.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 79062 replies702 threads Senior Member
    19% at Harvard is underrepresented compared to the 57% of high school students who potentially could be first generation to college students, or the 30% of new college frosh who are first generation to college.

    The elite schools may want some first generation to college students, but probably not too many, because first generation to college correlates to lower SES with higher financial aid need, and they probably want to preserve the predominantly high SES environment that helps keep them attractive for elitist employers to recruit at (a high SES environment socializes low SES students to high SES norms to make them attractive to elitist employers that prefer those with high SES mannerisms and habits).
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  • Gator88NEGator88NE 6473 replies204 threads Senior Member
    The increasing amount of First Gen students going to college isn't all good news. One factor is the ever increasing requirement that job applicants have college degrees. This accreditation creep hurts most those that can't afford to attend college.

    A perfect example is the requirement that day care workers have 4 year college degrees (see DC).

    Another factor is the changing economy, that puts more focus ($) on highly skilled workers, and less on lower skilled entry level workers. That makes college even more of a requirement.

    Rising college debt is also a problem for students, especially lower SES students.

    It's fantastic that college is far more accessible to lower SES students. However, there are some negatives to this trend.
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  • mackinawmackinaw 3040 replies54 threads Senior Member
    My parents were first gens -- 100 years ago. They did great. I don't see negatives to increased opportunity for college for first gens or lower SES. But the costs, and indebtedness, are excessive.
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  • yearstogoyearstogo 663 replies30 threads Member
    @ CCtoAlaska I think it is great that first gens are going to college and are becoming more educated. Not sure I think they are the "future of the country" any more than other kids though?
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  • ccprofandmomof2ccprofandmomof2 486 replies8 threads Member
    I think there's some wisdom in what @Gator88NE says. Most of the students I work with are first gen. They begin at CCs, often getting into debt even at that level. Many drop out after three or four years at the CC, perhaps with an Associate's degree, but often not. The persistent ones manage to transfer, most to the local Cal State, because of the need to stay at home combined with the fact that they can't get into other CalStates if their GPAs aren't high enough or those schools are impacted. I have many, many students who never graduate after they transfer, or who take seven or eight years total to get the degree and have accumulated debt at every step. Many of them end up working as managers in retail stores or in what would have been considered entry-level administrative jobs. Of course I'm happy that students have access to education. I think their lives are richer for it. But I do think the system is failing many of those students. They are deemed a "success" and counted as a "successful transfer," but they have delayed the start of their adult lives (retirement savings, etc), they begin life with debt, and they are in jobs that, a generation ago, wouldn't have needed a college degree. Again, I know there are awesome success stories in the CC to Cal State pathway. Please do not jump all over me about this. I teach in the CC for a reason. But I do think we are failing the majority of our students, who don't complete the track and move into jobs that would reasonably be considered jobs of a college graduate.
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  • JBSeattleJBSeattle 1054 replies14 threads Senior Member
    Another aspect is the lack of trade schools.
    There are lots of very high paying jobs for electricians and plumbers which do not require a college degree.
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  • ccprofandmomof2ccprofandmomof2 486 replies8 threads Member
    @JBSeattle And many CCs, esp. in CA, have cut out or drastically underfunded their "trade school" programs in order to make room for more transfer students, because transfer is considered more prestigious (and, my cynical self says, makes the administrators look better).
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  • CCtoAlaskaCCtoAlaska 579 replies4 threads Member
    A big problem where I live is, while universities have opened to students from all walks of life, the trade unions have not, despite heavy, heavy pressure. Unless you are a native-born white male, it's nearly impossible to join the trades here so often the only option is cc or trade schools that don't really form a sure pipeline into the higher-paying trade jobs.

    @ccprofandmomof2 that emphasis on the AA in Liberal Arts to transfer degree drives me crazy! I don't even really think it's necessary to successfully transfer in most cases. It's just the easy pathway for administrators to churn out.

    @ucbalumnus compared to how elite schools have been accustomed to profiling their freshman classes, it's a welcome change. Ideally we would match all students with fabulous opportunity at all levels of society.
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