My study identifies the impact of high school resourcing on students' experience in navigating life on an elite college campus. In order to do this, a series of 12 semi-structured interviews were conducted with 4 students enrolled at Hamilton college who graduated from three distinct types of high schools: elite private schools, well resourced public schools and less resourced public schools. According to my findings, the defining factor in determining the effectiveness of a high school education in preparing students for elite higher education is not the source of funding for these institutions (whether it be public or private), but the amount of resourcing available in the institution. Across Well Resourced Schools, students have access to rigorous academics, extracurriculars and college counseling opportunities, thus preparing them to navigate college life. On the other hand, students from Less Resourced Schools lack these opportunities. This finding demonstrates the reproduction of inequality in terms of who has the cultural capital necessary to access and succeed in elite postsecondary education.

Type of Work

Thesis - Limited Access

Department or Program



Hamilton College


Bachelor of Arts

Date of Graduation


Faculty Advisor

Mahala Stewart

Creative Commons License

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