The Neoliberal Institution and the Rural Student: Processes that Undermine the Rural Student

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date



College of Arts and Sciences



Faculty Sponsor

Arthur Scarritt


The public university has long stood as a symbol of class equality and opportunity for those who seek it; the mythos shrouding the public institution puts forth the ideal that education is a right for any student who is qualified and driven, and also willing to go tens of thousands of dollars into debt for a chance at a better life. Although this view of equality is held as an inalienable truth, a public university education is not equal for all. Despite the “democratizing” image that public universities put forth, traditional meritocratic discourses are alive and well on college campuses, and play a significant role in the success or failure of certain types of university attendees, specifically low income, rural students. The rural student is victim to three neoliberalizing processes that turn them into a “tool” for the university.

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