This study explores the role socioeconomic status (SES) and race play in friendship formation and selection. I use interviews and a survey to investigate if, how, and why individuals become friends with people of similar SES. My study expands upon previous research that explains the friendship formation process and shows the prevalence of many forms of homophily, the tendency for us to befriend others who are like us. My research reveals that SES and race heavily influence friendship formation at Hamilton. However, my research also reveals how Hamilton students navigate SES differences in less common socioeconomically heterophilous friendships. Additionally, my study shows that SES heterophily is often driven by interest homophily. This information is important for schools looking to promote diverse friend groups and help students of a lower SES succeed in college.

Type of Work

Thesis - Limited Access

Department or Program



Hamilton College


Bachelor of Arts

Date of Graduation


Faculty Advisor

Jaime Kucinskas

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.