A Case Study on College Persistence of Low Income Students
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Abstract Over the past five years, the national average college persistence rate for low-income students was 16%. Compared to the national rate of 60%, this number presents a significant gap in college persistence rates between low-income and the overall persistence rate. However, the college persistence rate for low-income students from Cristo Rey Boston is 56%. The number jumps to 100% for Cristo Rey Boston students attending College of the Holy Cross. The investigation will look at how the students’ time at Cristo Rey Boston supported their college persistence. The data that emerged from this study produced four themes. The four themes are: (1) the students felt prepared to handle humanities classes in college, (2) the students did not feel prepared to handle STEM classes in college, (3) the students initially felt a negative experience socially, and (4) the students expressed gratitude to the Corporate Work Study Program. The study provided solutions to address barriers to college persistence that emerged from the themes and corresponding sub-themes. Keywords: college persistence, low-income, mission, STEM, humanities
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