(Un)Privileged: The Cost of Being Poor ​at an Elite Institution

Date of Award

Spring 2016

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Interdisciplinary Film Studies

First Advisor

Prakash Younger


Un)Privileged: The Cost of Being Poor at an Elite Institution is a documentary that explores the social and personal issues faced by many low-income and first-generation undergraduate students across wealthy private colleges and universities in the United States. The film includes a cast of diverse first-generation and low-income students from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York, and Columbia University in the heart of New York City. Angel Perez, Trinity’s Vice President of Admissions and Student Success, also offers expert and personal insight into these struggles.

The students in the film discuss issues of exclusion on their campus, feelings of conflict between their impoverished communities and elite institution, as well as the implications of their unprivileged identity. Through intertwined discussions, the film takes viewers into the confusing identity of being low-income and/or first-generation within a space abundant with resources and privilege, and offers community as a means of resolution.


Senior thesis completed at Trinity College, Hartford Connecticut for the degree of Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Film Studies.

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