How Is COVID-19 Hitting First Generation College Students?

Aug 28, 2020

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Nearly one of five students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are the first in their families to attend college. Many first-generation students come from socioeconomically-disadvantaged families and have access to fewer resources and support than their peers. These students are also less likely to graduate — they drop out of college after three years at more than twice the rate of their peers whose parents got a degree. 


So what happens when you throw a global pandemic into the mix? Scholar Cassandra R. Davis is conducting research to track the impact of COVID-19 on these students. Davis is a research assistant professor in the department of public policy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who has studied the impact of hurricanes and other natural disasters on K-12 students. She joins host Frank Stasio to share highlights from her research so far and how the coronavirus pandemic compares to other natural disasters.