Identifying the best predictors of academic performance and college readiness is crucial for promoting success in postsecondary institutions. This cross-sectional study of 587 students examined the association between ethnicity and gender on high school students’ 1) high school grade level competence in reading, writing, and mathematics, and 2) a test of college readiness. Additionally, we determined whether the following parental factors were associated with students’ perceptions of attending college and performance on a college readiness test: 1) parents’ highest level of education, 2) parents’ perceptions of students’ level of education, and 3) parents’ perceived reasons of why students might not pursue higher education. Measures of college readiness included the California High School Exit Examination and the Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test. Ethnic differences were observed with higher scores in Caucasian and Asian students compared to Hispanic and African-American students on college readiness test scores. There was a strong relationship between parental expectations and students’ academic success. Limitations, strengths, and implications for curriculum development were also discussed.

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