Faculty Publications

Economic Stratification in Higher Education: An Asset-Based Approach to Low-SES Students’ Sense of Belonging

Document Type

Book Chapter

Journal/Book/Conference Title

The Impact Of A Sense Of Belonging In College: Implications for Student Persistence, Retention, and Success

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This chapter highlights the valuable skills low-socioeconomic (SES) students bring to college and explores how low-SES students establish a sense of belonging (or fail to do so). It provides a rich discussion surrounding SES and cultural capital, and academic success and introduces asset-based approaches intended to support low-SES students. Data regarding low-SES students indicate a growing need for colleges and universities to respond to the increasing numbers of low-SES students. The need for these students to feel welcomed on the campus, challenged and supported in the classroom, engaged in social activities, and included in campus programming is paramount to establishing a sense of belonging. Low-SES students face challenges within the higher education landscape that have historically been steeped in class privilege. These challenges present themselves in multiple contexts such as financial, psychological, academic, and social. The chapter addresses the skills low-SES students bring to college using Yosso’s community cultural wealth model and provide practical strategies for supporting this student population.


Department of Educational Psychology, Foundations, and Leadership Studies

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DOI of published version