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ERIC Number: ED549937
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 161
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2673-1530-4
Factors Influencing College Decision-Making for First-Generation Appalachian Students
Wood, Kristy Lynn
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Marshall University
This investigation determined the degree of importance for selected personal-psychological, academic, peer, financial, and family factors influencing the decision to attend college by first-generation, Appalachian (FGA) sophomore students. Outcomes were further related to the degree of academic and social integration in college and the likelihood of participants returning (persisting) to the next term or year. Participants were a purposeful group of 3,264 sophomores enrolled at three universities. Data were collected using the "Transition to College Survey" ("TCS"), which participants completed via an email invitation. Two-hundred, seventy-three responded (273) as follows: 110 (41%) first-generation status, 214 (78%); Appalachian status and 90 (33%), first-generation and Appalachian status. Results found that personal-psychological factors were by far the most important influences for "ALL" respondents and especially for first-generation ("FGA") students. Financial factors were also important influences, though differences were noted among the groupings. Overall, academic, peer, and family factors were not important influences. Participants reported modest levels of academic and social integration in their college settings and "FGA" participants reported even lesser degrees of integration compared to "ALL" or "OTHER" groupings. However, significant differences were found among the groupings for several social integration descriptors. Large percentages of "ALL" (83%) and "FGA" (87%) indicated to be very likely to return to college next term/year. No academic or social integration descriptors were significantly related to persistence, with the exception of "spend time with friends on campus" for "FGA" respondents. Implications are if school personnel and families enhance personal-psychological factors of students, it may influence a greater number to consider transitioning to college. Also, providing students and parents with information about financing college early on in high school may ease financial concerns. Once there, it is important that FGAs engage the college milieu and build academic and social relationships which can lead to persistence. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A