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Davis, Cassandra R.; Hartman, Harriet; Turner, Milanika; Norton, Terri; Sexton, Julie; Méndez, Dara; & Méndez, Jason (Online ahead of print). “Listen to the Feedback of Students”: First-Generation College Students Voice Inequalities in Schooling Brought on by the COVID-19 Pandemic. Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory & Practice.


In March 2020, the higher-education community faced one of its largest disruptions to date with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing campuses to close their doors to thousands of students. The university-wide closures prompted a collaboration between researchers and college administrators to assess the impact of COVID-19 on First-Generation College Students (FGCS). The team surveyed 659 FGCS across five U.S. universities to assess the ways in which the pandemic exacerbated already existing inequalities students faced in their persistence to graduate from college. The team used the social cognitive career theory as a conceptual framework for analysis. Our findings revealed that when respondents compared their life before COVID-19 with their present state, FGCS were less likely to perceive they had enough money to return to college, felt overwhelmed and lonely by added stress, and were more likely to see an increase in family responsibilities.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published

Online ahead of print

Journal Title

Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory & Practice


Davis, Cassandra R.
Hartman, Harriet
Turner, Milanika
Norton, Terri
Sexton, Julie
Méndez, Dara
Méndez, Jason

Article Type



United States of America




Davis, C - 0000-0003-4444-3113