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ERIC Number: ED552208
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 214
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2678-8736-8
Lived Experiences of Low Socioeconomic Millennial Generation College Students
Thacker, Kelly L.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Kansas State University
The characteristics and needs of college students across the United States are ever-changing. As Millennial generation students, born between 1982 and 2003 (Howe & Strauss, 2000), attend college, unique characteristics are present. Commonalities within the Millennial generation have been identified; however, socioeconomic status can impact a student's ability to demonstrate these characteristics of the Millennial generation (Ramsey, 2008). Socioeconomic status still remains the greatest predictor of college aspirations but can prohibit some Millennial students from the opportunity to attend college (Greene, Huerta, & Richards, 2007). This qualitative study investigated the lived experiences of low socioeconomic Millennial generation college students. Bourdieu's (1977; Bourdieu & Passeron, 1977, 1990) Cultural Capital Theory was used as the framework to address four research questions regarding knowledge of college, academic experiences, types of support, and collegiate involvement. Research questions were developed utilizing a phenomenological methodology consisting of two semi-structured interviews with open-ended interview questions as the primary data source. Through the analysis of the participant interviews, themes of their lived experiences as a low socioeconomic status Millennial generation college student emerged. Participants shared that their families lacked knowledge and information about college although they encouraged and supported them and understood the importance of a college degree. Although the educational experiences of the participants varied, most encountered challenges transitioning from high school to college. The most important educational experience for the participants is obtaining a college degree, greatly impacting their future. Although self-supportive for most of their lives, attending college is possible through the financial support of the 21st Century Scholars Program. This financial support and the support of their collegiate friends going through similar experiences have been important. Involvement in collegiate activities was important for the participants' future careers, relationships, and learning; however, they sought these opportunities on their own. This research supports and encourages student affairs practitioners to enhance and improve the services and support provided to low socioeconomic status students in the college community. In addition, this study supports the need for more research related to socioeconomic status within higher education as well as reexamining student development theories to take into consideration socioeconomic status. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A