First-generation college (FGC) students represent a small portion of the population of students on college campuses across the nation. Racial minority students are also highly underrepresented at four-year institutions. When one combines FGC students who are also racial minorities, they comprise an even smaller subgroup of students attending four-year college campuses. Research conducted to evaluate how FGC students perform their first year in college is prevalent. Additionally, research has been completed on factors that help predict a high school student's admission into and performance in college. However, very little research exists about factors identified in high school that may help strengthen a prospective FGC, racial minority, and high school student's admission into college. This study will utilize the RELATE questionnaire to evaluate individual characteristics or circumstances identified in prospective first-generation college racial minority students that may be potentially mediated for by high school counselors or college administrators to help strengthen college or university admission. Counselors or advisors could have an impact on improving the likelihood of college or university admission for this population by facilitating the process of coming to terms with family stressors and/or strengthening their flexibility or adaptability to new or different environments, learning, and people. Since the RELATE database does not include direct data regarding college admission, positive student educational characteristics such as sociability, calmness, organization, maturity, and happiness will be utilized to represent potential stronger preparation for admission into college. RELATE is a questionnaire designed for individuals in a committed relationship and provides important information regarding the individual, the partner, and the relationship. Research with the RELATE questionnaire data is generally utilized in family and social science domains. This study is unique since it accesses the individual instead of couple data for positive educational characteristics and research. This comparative study between prospective first-generation college White students and prospective first-generation college racial minority students is designed to assist educators in secondary and higher educational levels to better prepare prospective FGC students, particularly prospective FGC racial minority students, for college admission. Also, this study will distinguish between various characteristics that may assist college recruiters identify prospective FGC students who may be a strong fit for their institutions.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Educational Leadership and Foundations



Date Submitted


Document Type





first-generation college students, minority students, predictors for college admission, RELATE questionnaire, sociability, calmness, organization, maturity, happiness