Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EDD)


Educational and Psychological Studies (Education)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Soyeon Ahn

Second Committee Member

Susan Mullane

Third Committee Member

Etiony Aldarondo

Fourth Committee Member

Brian Orefice


First-generation Latino male students face challenges related to enrollment in college. The purpose of this study was to present a comparison of the intent to pursue a bachelor’s degree between first-generation (FG) and non-first-generation Latino male high school students (NFG). Secondary data obtained from the National Center for Education Statistics High School Longitudinal Study first follow-up in 2012 was analyzed to determine whether there were differences between FG and NFG students in terms of their social and cultural capital: family perceptions of the importance of college, knowledge of financial aid, academic and social involvement, and academic preparation. Results from a chi-square analysis and four independent samples t-tests found that there were significant differences between FG and NFG Latino male high school students in family perceptions, with more FGs’ perceiving their families as thinking working is more important than going to college, and academic preparation, with FG Latino males reporting lower academic preparation. No differences were found in involvement and academic preparation. Results from a multiple regression analysis showed that all of the independent variables were found to be significant in predicting student’s intent to enroll. No differential relationship between each independent variable and student’s intent to enroll depending on the first generation status was found. A holistic approach needs to be implemented in order to help more FG Latino male high school students enroll in college. Future research should focus on specific gender differences as well the role of peer and social influences in Latino male students’ college enrollment.


First-Generation Latino male; college; family perceptions; academic preparation; financial aid; involvement