Social capital—relationships that provide access to resources, information, and expertise—is critical for any college student’s success. For many young people, college is unfamiliar territory, and navigating the complexities of academic requirements, financial aid, and a new social scene can feel nearly impossible without help. Building a strong network of friends, classmates, mentors, faculty, and staff who can offer advice and encouragement is the only way to make it to the finish line.
This series of papers explores the experiences of one group of college students for whom social capital is particularly important: Black students enrolled at a Predominantly White Institution. The students who participated in this qualitative research study offer rich insights into life as an underrepresented student on campus and underscore the importance of university staff and peer influence in the student experience.