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Social Class and Student Experiences

Social class is relevant to the discussion of student experiences, especially as it relates to issues of access to higher education, experiences within college campuses and universities, and also students’ postgraduate experiences. Social class is partially defined by students’ socioeconomic status (SES) and how it relates to their experiences in academia. Social class itself, however, is much more dynamic and multifaceted than SES alone and needs to be examined from a holistic perspective. Factors that should be accounted for when discussing social class and student experiences include family background and status, student identity, student support and mentorship, instructional programming on college campuses, and community support. This entry provides an overview of social class and its influence on student experiences in higher education, examining access to ...

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