Who is a first-generation college student? California colleges, universities can’t agree

It’s a national problem. In one 2018 study, researchers surveyed 7,300 students using eight different definitions for the term “first-generation student.” Using one definition, 22% of students were considered first generation; according to another definition, 77% were.

Fuentes qualifies as a first-generation student under the UC definition, but not under the requirements set by the Community College Chancellor’s Office.

He said it’s an unfair distinction. Even though his mother attended college, he said she was unable to help him navigate the system when he applied to college in his senior year of high school and eventually enrolled at UC Davis.

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