10 Ways to Improve Retention Rates of First-Generation Students

10 Ways to Improve Retention Rates of First-Generation Students


The first-generation students on your campus face big challenges.

As the only members of their families to attend college, they are less likely to understand basic procedures that others take for granted, such as course selection and registration. They may feel that they don’t “belong” in college.

They may even have to deal with unsupportive behaviors or mixed messages from home.

With fewer adult role models and limited practical knowledge, First-Generation students are missing certain advantages that other students bring with them when they arrive at college.

The accumulation of these obstacles leads to the unfortunate reality that first-generation college students are much less likely to graduate than others.

This is a regrettable situation that can be addressed with improved identification, greater understanding, and enhanced support services.

Topics Covered

In 10 Ways to Improve Retention Rates of First-Generation Students, you discover effective ways to support, assist, and validate this important segment of your school population.

This 50-page, exclusive Magna white paper covers:

  • The unique challenges first-generation students face
  • The five core dimensions of the first-generation experience
  • Common misconceptions about first-generation students
  • Strategies for addressing study skill deficits
  • Why first-generation students often feel like “outsiders”
  • The benefits of having first-generation students on campus
  • Tailoring advising services to first-generation needs
  • Differences between first-gens and low-income students
  • How to encourage greater involvement with activities
  • How to foster close relationships between students, faculty, and staff
  • Identifying and eliminating barriers to student success
  • Advocating effectively for improved support services


In addition, this white paper includes a 2-step process for immediately addressing first-generation student challenges, a comparison chart contrasting first-generation students with low-income and non-first generation students, and a list of recommended resources.


This white paper is recommended for anyone involved in working with and supporting first-generation college students, including:

  • Faculty members in all disciplines
  • Academic administrators
  • Academic Advising directors and staff
  • Counseling Center directors and Staff
  • Housing and Residential Life directors and staff
  • Student Activities directors and staff
  • University 101 course designers/instructors


The challenges faced by first-generation students are surmountable with understanding and knowledgeable intervention. Learn what you can do to support the success of these promising students by investing in this important white paper today.


Product Code: MD11AC

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