Social capital, academic achievement, and postgraduation plans at an elite, Private University

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Many studies have explored how social capital influences the academic experiences of secondary school students. A distinct literature has demonstrated the beneficial effects of social contacts on occupational attainment and the job search process. However, few studies have explored the effects of social capital at the postsecondary level. This study bridges this gap in the literature by examining the effects of campus social networks on college academic achievement and postgraduation education and occupation plans, using detailed panel data from an elite, private university. Results indicate that campus social networks have little effect on early college outcomes, although students with extensive networks are more likely to graduate with honors and continue on to graduate school. Students with extensive campus networks and extracurricular memberships are more likely to aspire to high-status professional occupations, especially as medical doctors, while family or personal networks are more important for aspiring lawyers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-210
Number of pages26
JournalSociological Perspectives
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Academic achievement
  • Postsecondary education
  • Social capital
  • Social networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Social capital, academic achievement, and postgraduation plans at an elite, Private University'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this