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This study examined whether verbal and math self-concepts could help explain the academic performance of first generation college students. Participants were 167 ethnically diverse students at an inner city, commuter, open-enrollment, four-year university in the southwestern United States. Results indicated that students with lower verbal and math self-concepts had lower grade point averages. Furthermore, there were ethnic differences among first generation college students in GPA with Whites performing better than African Americans and Latinos. In addition, Asians and Latinos had higher math self-concept than African Americans. The potential for academic self-concept as an important factor in increasing the academic performance of first generation students is discussed.