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dc.contributor.authorShivers, Melissa Shylene
dc.description.abstractThe purpose of this qualitative study was to understand the college-decision making process of biracial students enrolled in historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and predominantly White institutions (PWIs). This combination interview, demographic survey, and document analysis study examined 11 biracial undergraduate students who attended predominantly White and historically Black colleges or universities in the Southeastern United States. Overwhelmingly three themes emerged from all PWI and HBCU participants 1) My family, my influence - families influenced students’ choice to attend college, 2) Location, location, location - location coupled with financial considerations impacted college choice; and 3) I’m biracial. . SO? – biracial participants did not make a conscious decision to utilize race or cultural affinity as influential factors; however, there is privilege associated with the ability to choose different institutional types. Participant’s self-awareness of their biracial identity in tandem with their ability to adapt to various situations and environments as described in Renn’s (2004) Situational identity model, created a larger conversation about race ‘in the margins’ rather than as a central component of their decision-making processes. While family, location, and financial considerations were common among all participants, there were several interesting themes for HBCU participants and PWI participants. The participants from the HBCU cited 1) a strong sense of “family” at their respective institutions – participants gained a strong sense of community although they did not choose the institution for this purpose; and 2) Higher education is important- these participants applied for admittance to both HBCUs and PWIs. Biracial participants from the PWI offered unique insight into their choice of institution. A major theme among those participants was HBCUs aren’t good enough – many participants commented on their perception of the lack of prestige in attending and graduating from an HBCU. To further support their lack of interest in attending an HBCU, only one student applied to an HBCU; conversely, all participants from HBCUs applied to at least one PWI. Findings from this study further support the need to continue exploration of how biracial students make decisions about institutional type.
dc.subjectCollege Choice
dc.subjectCultural and Racial Affinity
dc.subjectHistorically Black Colleges and Universities
dc.subjectPredominantly White Institutions
dc.titleHow do I choose?
dc.title.alternativebiracial students' postsecondary choice of historically black colleges and universities or predominantly white institutions
dc.description.departmentCounseling and Human Development Services
dc.description.majorCounseling and Student Personnel Services
dc.description.advisorDiane L. Cooper
dc.description.committeeDiane L. Cooper
dc.description.committeeCorey Johnson
dc.description.committeeMerrily Dunn

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