Print Сite this

The Impact of Parent’s Educational Level on College Students


The article, named “The Impact of Parent’s Educational Level on College Students: An Analysis Using the Beginning Post-secondary Students Longitudinal Study 1990-92/94”, written by Debbie Hahs-Vaughn, is a collection of material pertaining to the effect of parents being educated, on the outcomes of students performances. It has generally never been given enough thought, as to whether the educational backgrounds of the families of students may also have an impact on the way they carry out their studies. Previously, a lot of research has been done to analyze the attainment of students from low socio-economic groups, and such related issues. Studies have shown that students from low socio-economic backgrounds tend to enroll in shorter academic courses, being unable o afford long term courses, which last for up to four years or more, thereby affecting their educational status. However, this topic is a different one, as it has research performed to study and evaluate the parents of the students, and how their educational status affects the child’s performance in College.

We will write a
custom essay
specifically for you

for only $16.05 $11/page
308 certified writers online
Learn More

Discussion of the article

This article begins with the aforementioned fact, that previously, many studies have been carried out, related to the economic backgrounds of students. The first generation and non-first generation students have been evaluated, after researching throughanalyzing the theoretical models of Terenzini et al. They gave a description of first generation students, who are linked to the following three categories, one, the expectations of the students from college, second, the transition period between high school and college, and third, the effect of the experiences at college on the achievement of the degree. Debbie describes a longitudinal model, by Terenzini, which is based on a previous study undertaken by Astin, and hypothesizes six elements. These are inclusive of, precollegiate characteristics, circular patterns, in-class experiences, experiences out of the class, institutional context, and learning outcomes of the students when they begin college.

Debbie says in her article, that those students whose parents are not highly educated, or have not pursued studies after high school, are unlikely to perform well once they get enrolled in college. The enrolment into college itself becomes a problem for them, due to hesitation and lack of involvement in programs that lead to admission into college. Nevertheless, these students face other challenges, like a low self-esteem and less moral support from parents and family. The first generation students have also been found to score lesser in their entrance exams, and have a low grade score throughout their academic profile.

The article under review is a research study carried out to see if the status of first generation students affects college performance. The SEM (structural equation model) has been used by the author, to determine results in a variety of variables concurrently, which were US citizens, and were pursuing an associate’s degree, or a higher certification.

From all the tests carried out, and after sampling and analyses of the students, it was seen that the only variables that distinguished between first generation and non-first generation were, the anticipated highest level of education, entrance exam score, nonacademic experiences, and objectives for seeking education. For first generation students, ‘college experiences’ were a stronger influence on educational outcomes than precollegiate characteristics. For non-first generation students, the results were the opposite, showing precollegiate traits having a stronger pressure on the students activities in the coming four years of college life.

The author has shown results indicating that students had more differences among themselves amongst them at the time of enrollment, than then later on, after progression of time. The article holds information that is distinguishable from previous researches, and results that have varying outcomes. The first generation students have differential college understanding compared to the non-first generation students. This information is essential to be imparted to the institutions that influence the policies being made for post-secondary students, in the US.

Affected by the surroundings

Students are basically affected by their surroundings, as well as the environment they are living in. Their past history, and their present state, both affect their performances in school. Many theorists have come up with different notions regarding the outcomes of students and of what affect their studies and results most. The common factors that underlie the changes of the student and his performance are his personality, and motivation.

Get your
100% original paper
on any topic

done in as little as
3 hours
Learn More

Each student holds a unique personality, and this affects his overall performance at college, or during his educational career. A confident student will perform better at all times than a low esteemed student, of the same class. A student’s family, who gives more moral support to the child, will be better off academically than one whose family takes no interest in the affairs of their child. Moral up boosting is an essential part of the parent-child relationship.

Individuals tend to acquire high levels of development like physiological needs, self-esteem, safety, sense of belongingness, etc., after attainment of low level needs, like thirst and hunger. These are part of the student development process, and the way the individual handles situations that come along in the daily routine, is the path to his success in the long run. These are factors that need to be considered in student life, in addition to the environmental aspects that further shape the student and his performance in college.

The environmental factors that may affect a student, are his family mostly, a student coming from an educated family will perform well, due to the atmosphere created at home, which is a sign of motivation for him. The home environment greatly influences students and the way they carry out their academic undertakings. The parents who are educated will automatically take keen interest in the child’s results, thereby producing a sense of motivation in him to strive harder andto perform even better in the future. Those who are not educated will be less interested in their child’s affairs, as they will take whatever comes before them for granted, and due to their unawareness, they will be proud and content, no matter how badly their child is doing in college (Evans, et al., 1998).

The article has focused on a theory that is greatly been looked into in the current day. The educational background of students, and their performances in college, is all interdependent, and similar is the theoretical perspective of many scholars, who have shown the environment to be a critical factor in a student’s development. It is evident that if parents are educated, their children will perform better, thus also creating motivation for the current generations to study further, in order to produce generations which will be better than themselves, in future. The spread of education can take this face, to produce better educated children in the long run.

Disadvantages of the article

Although Hahs-Vaugahn has made some commendable efforts in explicitly demonstrating a very important issue of first generation college level students; he has failed to indicate some important notions pertaining to the rectification of these problems. It is a very straightforward and obvious conclusion that he has drawn, “First generation students yielded from uneducated parents are obviously expected not to perform so well in academia’—this problem has always existed. Hahs –Vaugahn should have gone deeper and performed an in-depth study as to how to encourage and elevate the esteems of these first- generation students, as in this modern era, it is highly expected from scientists of the caliber of Hahs-Vaugahn to draw solid conclusions and propose recommendations, rather than conducting a study whose theory is already well established.

Likewise, although a good statistical analyses is performed from the immense amounts of data generated, it is still felt that looking at the severity and colossal number of effectees in this severe issue, the sample size was too small. Vaugahn should have used a larger population number for his studies, as he was comparing 2 variables, i.e. first generation vs. second generation; and simultaneously studied many parameters. Thus, the population size he analyzed was a total mismatch.

This study could have further improved if the parameters under consideration were also increased. Vaughn did not even touch on theon the siblings of the candidate under study. Siblings and the position of the candidate in a family i.e. was he the youngest child, or the first child—this factor should have been uniform for the entire population.

We will write a custom
for you!
Get your first paper with
15% OFF
Learn More

Likewise, it was felt that there was a lacking in the original theme of the topic itself. Insufficient data about parents was generated. There was a lot of potential in analyzing the family patterns of each candidate studied.


Conclusively, Vaughn deserves credit for his efforts in analyzing a sensitive issue that exists in this modern era and that too in one of the superpowers of the world, in the USA. He has concluded with full statistical analyses that first generation students yielded from uneducated parents, are prone to excel poorly in academia. However, this is a very complex issue, and socio-economic conditions are coupled to psycho- emotional needs, and thus there is still a lot of potential in performing a deeper and thorough analysis of this problem, coupled with clear cut solutions.


  1. Hahs- Vaughn, D. The Impact of Parent’s Educational Level on College Students: An Analysis Using the Beginning Post-secondary Students Longitudinal Study 1990-92/94.
  2. Evans, N., Forney, D., Guido-DiBrito. Student Development in College: Theory, Research, and Practice 1998. 

Cite this paper

Select style


StudyCorgi. (2021, September 23). The Impact of Parent’s Educational Level on College Students. Retrieved from


StudyCorgi. (2021, September 23). The Impact of Parent’s Educational Level on College Students.

Work Cited

"The Impact of Parent’s Educational Level on College Students." StudyCorgi, 23 Sept. 2021,

* Hyperlink the URL after pasting it to your document

1. StudyCorgi. "The Impact of Parent’s Educational Level on College Students." September 23, 2021.


StudyCorgi. "The Impact of Parent’s Educational Level on College Students." September 23, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "The Impact of Parent’s Educational Level on College Students." September 23, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'The Impact of Parent’s Educational Level on College Students'. 23 September.

This paper was written and submitted to our database by a student to assist your with your own studies. You are free to use it to write your own assignment, however you must reference it properly.

If you are the original creator of this paper and no longer wish to have it published on StudyCorgi, request the removal.