The intention of this study is to explore the relationship of rural or urban living on the educational aspirations of high school students. Through discussion of literature, a picture of urban and rural character is created. Further discussion focuses on school and neighborhood structure in relation to socioeconomic factors. These developments combine with Human and Social Capital Theories to establish the base of this investigation. It is hypothesized that students from urban areas aspire to go to college as or more frequently than students in rural areas. Data from the "Monitoring the Future 2002" survey provides self reported information from over 13,000 potential respondents. This quantitative study utilizes linear regression and crosstabulation analysis techniques to test the given hypothesis. Findings indicate support of the hypothesis and strong relationships to human and social capital inputs. Weakness of the study lies in the limited use of economic statistics, and potential limits in the population surveyed. Further study on this topic should include data with more emphasis on economic factors, and collection of information should take place over the duration of high school attendance. Inclusion of such information would provide a more inclusive look at factors shaping aspirations.


Fitz Gibbon, Heather

Second Advisor

Moskowitz, Eric


Urban Studies

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis

Available for download on Thursday, January 01, 2150

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© Copyright 2004 Erin Craw