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How Is COVID-19 Hitting First Generation College Students?

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Nearly one of five students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are the first in their families to attend college. Many first-generation students come from socioeconomically-disadvantaged families and have access to fewer resources and support than their peers. These students are also less likely to graduate — they drop out of college after three years at more than twice the rate of their peers whose parents got a degree. 

Host Frank Stasio talks to scholar Cassandra R. Davis about her research on how first-generation college students are weathering the COVID-19 pandemic.

 So what happens when you throw a global pandemic into the mix? Scholar Cassandra R. Davis is conducting research to track the impact of COVID-19 on these students. Davis is a research assistant professor in the department of public policy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who has studied the impact of hurricanes and other natural disasters on K-12 students. She joins host Frank Stasio to share highlights from her research so far and how the coronavirus pandemic compares to other natural disasters. 

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Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
Amanda Magnus grew up in Maryland and went to high school in Baltimore. She became interested in radio after an elective course in the NYU journalism department. She got her start at Sirius XM Satellite Radio, but she knew public radio was for her when she interned at WNYC. She later moved to Madison, where she worked at Wisconsin Public Radio for six years. In her time there, she helped create an afternoon drive news magazine show, called Central Time. She also produced several series, including one on Native American life in Wisconsin. She spends her free time running, hiking, and roller skating. She also loves scary movies.