Successful Students

Successful First-Generation College Students at ISU

Recently, research was conducted to explore factors that help explain the academic success of first-generation college students enrolled at Indiana State University. First-generation college students are individuals whose parents do not possess a four-year college degree.

Although national research shows that first-generation college students have a greater chance for dropping out of college (due to various reasons) as compared to their non-first-generation college student peers, many ISU first-generation students nonetheless successfully complete their studies and attain their degrees. The research conducted at ISU on successful first-generation college students sought to discover the barriers to success that students encounter and the strategies they use to overcome them. This research was conducted by Dr. Tom Rios, director of the Indiana State University Career Center. While the population studied was first-generation college students, the findings are applicable to all students.

Some of the insights gained from this study included:

Successful strategies that students used included:

Your role of parent or guardian of a student beginning their college career is critical to their success. Thus, much of the material in this Handbook provides specific actions you can take to increase your student’s chances for success.