Date of Award

Fall 12-1-2019

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Daniel Douglas


Elite higher education institutions reflect the culture of the upper-class population in the United States. Trinity College is ranked fifth on a list of schools with the highest ratio of students from the top 1% of income earners relative to the bottom 60%. While there have been successful efforts to increase campus diversity, such efforts focus on race and ethnicity more than social class. In this context, I asked the following research question: how does social class condition the experience of Black and Latinx students at Trinity College? Methods: This project relied on interviews with 7 juniors and seniors at Trinity College who identify as Black and/or Latinx. I conducted semi-structured interviews with each participant. The interviews addressed themes of on and off campus experiences, as well as how perceptions of racial conflicts on campus. Findings: The two primary findings are that class affects student’s perception of race and how students access support services offered on campus. Perceptions of race were most salient in how students engage in social activities and how they relate to college faculty and staff. Conclusion: Conceptually, these findings nuance our understanding of the intersection of race and class at an elite college. Practically, they suggest a need for life coaching and more proactive mental health service provided by the college.