The paper examined family background factors that affect students' academic achievement in institutions of higher learning in Nigeria. With the use of structured questionnaire, data were collected from 110 first-degree final year students using random sampling and analysed through multiple linear regression techniques. It was found that student's academic performance was positively influenced by student's parental level of education, maternal income level, age, income of the student and number of hours allocated for reading on daily basis. Those students who spent more hours reading their books daily were found performing better than those who spent lesser hours. The hypothesis that parental educational level impacted positive effects on students' academic performance was confirmed valid for the country while effects of parental occupation and parental income were mixed. The major finding of the paper was that higher educational attainment and income status of parents were essential factors contributing to high academic record of students of tertiary institutions. It was, therefore, recommended that policy that enforces higher education advancement for all parents should be enforced in Nigeria.