UCR First-Generation Research

As of Fall 2016, first-generation students comprised 58% of new and continuing students - compared to less than half in the UC system and 34% nationally. Approximately 63% of students who entered in the fall of 2016 were first-generation students, an increase over recent years. Data on the extent of first-generation faculty and staff is unknown at UCR and nationally - and minimal publications exist looking at staff and faculty rates. Outreach to faculty has yielded 114 faculty who self-identified as first-generation (as of August 2018).

College Profiles

Data profiles for each college filtered by first-generation student status for 2019. 

Retention and Graduation

Among cohorts of earlier cohorts of students, there is a gap in one-year retention rates between first generation and non-first generation students. However, both groups show improved retention rates over time and later cohorts of first generation students are retained at about the same rate as non-first generation students. The pattern is similar for four-year graduation rates with an increase over time and some narrowing of the gap between first generation and non-first generation students. Four-year graduation rates for first-generation are 55% (fall 2012 cohort) and six-year graduation rates are 72% (fall 2010 cohort) at UCR compared to national degree attainment rates of 27% and 50%.

firstgen graphs


By Major, the ten majors with the largest number of first generation students includes majors from most colleges. While Biology has more than a thousand first generation student, they make up almost 80% of all Sociology majors.

firstgen talbe 1


By College, Fall 2016 demographic data shows a higher than average concentration of undergraduate first-generation students in CHASS and a lower than average concentration in BCOE. CNAS, SOBA, and SPP show only slight variation from the campus average.

firstgen table