Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name



Educational Administration and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Kristina Hesbol, Ph.D.


College access, Community cultural wealth, Funds of knowledge, Social network analysis, Social resource theory


This study examined a variety of sources of influence for traditionally underrepresented students at a primarily White institution of higher education. The sources of influence ranged from 2-way communications in high school to 2-way communications in the community, and from 1-way communication influences in the school such as AP courses, to 1-way communication influences outside of the school such as social media. The data were collected via an online survey distributed to first time in college freshmen in the College of Natural Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin. The survey results were analyzed using ANOVA and social network analysis (SNA). While SNA has been used in education, it has not been used in the college access discourse. Given the connection between social capital and college access, and the use of SNA to examine social capital, using SNA to examine social capital provided an interesting way to explore the influences for students in college access. The researcher hypothesized that people, in and out of school, would be more influential to traditionally underrepresented students than their traditionally represented counterparts. While some of the findings supported the hypothesis, there were significant findings in financial aid and social media platforms for traditionally underrepresented students, offering leverage points for high school, higher education, and policy makers.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.


Received from ProQuest

Rights holder

Rebekah Kester

File size

143 p.

File format





Higher Education, Education, Educational Leadership