Purpose: This study compares the adjustment experiences of U.S.-born students, immigrant and international students’ levels of academic, emotional, cultural and financial adjustment and its effects on GPA.
Design/Methodology/Approach: The Perception of Barriers, University Environment and Cultural Congruency Scales were used to create academic, emotional, cultural and financial adjustment categories. Demographic questions were used to determine the presence of a relationship between citizenship status, income and country of origin amongst students from private and public universities within the United States. Correlation analyses were used to determine the relationship between age, income, the number of years in the United States, adjustment factors and GPA. ANOVAs were used to evaluate the relationship between gender, socioeconomic class, and citizenship status.
Findings: The results indicate a relationship between socioeconomic status, income, citizenship status and geographic location among university students pursuing business management degrees. This study reinforces the validity of scales used by other researchers.
Research Limitations/Implications: Limitations include different population sizes and use of correlations. The results indicate a need for further evaluation of academic and financial factors that affect international, U.S.-born, and immigrant students. Examples include further study of cognitive, financial and environmental factors that affect adjustment to college. Subsequent studies may include new scales measuring specific financial or academic stressors.
Practical Implications: This study is of value to educators and administrators who wish to implement student services programs, retention strategies or recruit students of all origins.
Social Implications: The results may also spark interest in the monetary impact of international education and the disruption of the college experience for all students. Thus, changes in educational policy may occur at the university, state and federal levels.
Originality/Value: The study provides further validation of adjustment models and scales. Participants come from multiple institutions throughout the United States. Previous adjustment studies focused on single institutions, groups of immigrants or minority groups.Key Words: Adjustment, GPA, Immigrants, International Students