Slim chance : adult students' access to university-administered merit-based undergraduate scholarships




Donegan-Smith, Cora

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University-administered merit-based undergraduate scholarship awards have egalitarian appearances that often mask the presence of eligibility criteria that funnel these awards towards some students and away from others. This thesis uses findings from a case study to examine whether adult students (undergraduates aged 25 year and older) have equal access to undergraduate scholarships at one Canadian university. Framed by understanding of relational differences between members of social groups and by how formal equality can result in differing experiences for those who are substantively different, this thesis first identities how adult students differ as undergraduates; next it gathers data showing adult students' academic ability; and finally it statistically tests data showing the ages of recipients of scholarship awards to discover if adult students' are successful recipients in proportion to presence in the undergraduate community. A survey of ten other Canadian universities places findings in a wider context.



adult college students, scholarships, Canada, undergraduate