“I Had to Surpass”: Administrative Barriers that First-generation College Students of Color Face

By Keena P. Walters

First-generation college students that are also Students of Color face additional challenges in their college journeys, compared with continuing-generation students, as they must figure out how to navigate university processes on their own. In this brief, we define administrative barriers as nonacademic processes and protocols that students must complete to succeed in the university. We outline three overall categories: barriers with courses and majors; barriers caused by college employees and services; and barriers with financing. We share our findings with specific recommendations and actions to remove administrative barriers that can increase student success, such as providing clearer communication about requirements and deadlines and improving access to financial assistance.