Rural undergraduate students at flagship universities in the United States are typically outnumbered by their urban and suburban peers. Students from rural demographic backgrounds bring different forms of social and cultural capital to higher education with them. This phenomenological study at a flagship university in the Deep South region of the United States examines their experiences through the lens of Constructed Environment Perspectives to assess how rural students evaluate their sense of fit at an institution of higher education. Rural students in this study noted that they began their first year of postsecondary education with a smaller social network than their nonrural peers. When necessary, rural students adapted their social and cultural capital to experience a better sense of fit by connecting with nonrural students in communal settings or by changing symbols of their cultural and social capital. Participants in this study found the residence halls to be a space that was particularly helpful in their adjustment to university life.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.



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