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Divergent Paths to Elite Degrees: An Examination of the Factors Impacting Attrition among Minority Students Enrolled in Elite Colleges in the U.S.


The unique institutional setting and structure of elite colleges provide equally unique opportunities and pathways to elite degrees. While the multi-faceted benefits of elite college attendance have been well documented in the literature, (Brand and Halaby 2006; Reardon et al. 2012; Hout 2012) there is also evidence to suggest that elite colleges serve as institutional sorting grounds for the reproduction and the perpetuation of social inequalities (Espenshade and Radford 2009; Massey et al. 2003). This dissertation examines the factors that impact and serve as protective sources against likelihoods of dropping out among students in selective and elite institutions in the U.S.

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