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Abstract

Educational attainment in the United States has become increasingly linked to socioeconomic mobility. In particular, systems of higher education provide resources that give power and legitimacy to a limited group of U.S. citizens: the middle and upper classes. This power translates into political influence, financial control, and cultural supremacy that further divide social classes. By breeding graduates with economic privilege and marketable skills, systems of higher education contribute to the widening gap among people in different socioeconomic statuses. Acknowledging and examining the oppressive structure in which college students are engaged may help to extend educational opportunities to more Americans and challenge our perceptions of scholarship.