Academic performance of the first generation college students in rural areas

Stream: Children and participation
Date: Tuesday, 10 September 2019
Time: 3.45 pm – 5.05 pm

Abstract

The popularization of higher education in China continues to deepen, which makes the group of college students continue to diversify. The proportion of college students in the first generation in rural areas is getting higher and higher. However, due to their lack of economic conditions, the starting point is relatively low, and the weak learning foundation has caused academic difficulties. The Chinese government has implemented a series of tilting policies to increase the chances of rural students entering the university in poverty-stricken areas. But can their academic performance after entering college be developed?

This study analyzes the academic performance of the first generation college students in rural areas through the analysis of the tracking data of college students in Hunan Province. We have tracked two phases of data,obtained their college entrance examination scores, and GPAs since entering the university. Through the combination of PSM and DID methods, the results show that the first generation of rural college students account for more than half of the college students. They differ significantly from other students in personal, family situations, high school learning characteristics, and performance of learning behavior. Moreover, their college entrance examination scores are lower overall than other students. However, their initial academic performance after entering the university was not weaker than that of other students, and after two years of college education, the gap in academic performance with other students narrowed.

Authors

Wei Xu (Presenter), Changsha University of Science and Technology
Wei Xu is doing her master study at Changsha University of Science and Technology (CUST), majoring in Educational Economics and Management. Previously, she obtained her bachelor’s degree in Economics from CUST in 2017. Her research interest is primarily focusing on student loan and student academic performance in China’s higher education. Her recent research is mainly about the determinants of student loan application and exploring the behavioral differences between the poor and non-poor students in financial management.

Wei Huang (Presenter), Changsha University of Science and Technology
Wei Huang is a professor of School of Economics and Management at Changsha University of Science and Technology (CUST). He is also the co-director of Educational Economics and Fiscal Institute of Hunan Province (EEFI). Previously, he completed his Ph.D. in Economics at the Education Science Institute of Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST) in 2005. Currently, his research focuses on improving the effectiveness of college student (financial) aid and its implications for public policy in China’s higher education. He is also interested in developing theory-driven, rigorously tested experimental studies to promoting college student psychological and behavioral development.

Fan Li, Wageningen University
Fan Li is currently a post-doctoral research fellow at Development Economics Group, Wageningen University and Research. He received his PhD from LICOS-Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven, Belgium in 2017. His research interests are mainly focusing on rural development and higher education financing in China.

Xiaowei Liao, Changsha University of Science and Technology
Xiaowei Liao is pursuing her master’s degree in Educational Economics and Management at Changsha University of Science and Technology. In 2015 she received her bachelor’s degree in English from College of Applied Science at Jiangxi University of Science and Technology. Her research focuses on college student financial aid and its effect on student academic and career development. She is also working on project related college inequality and social trust in China’s higher education.

Juan Peng, Changsha University of Science and Technology
Juan Peng is a master candidate in Educational Economic and Management at Changsha University of Science and Technology (CUST). Previously, she obtained her bachelor’s degree in Management from CUST in 2018.Her research interests are mainly about college student non-cognitive skills, social capital and academic performance. Currently, she is working on a project, focusing on college student volunteering experience, and its effect on their academic performance and social trust.