Educational Administration, Department of


Date of this Version

Spring 5-2015


Geis, Q. (2015). Exploring the Academic and Social Experiences of Homeless College Students. Unpublished masters thesis, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: Educational Administration, Under the Supervision of Professor Debra Mullen. Lincoln, Nebraska: May, 2015

Copyright (c) 2015 Quinton D. Geis


This thesis focuses on the experiences of college students who are facing homelessness, specifically from an academic and social lens. A hidden group within institutions of higher education, these students face many challenges that include economic instability, social isolation, or difficulty navigating the collegial environment. These challenges provide the opportunity for resilience but lack of support creates obstacles that may make degree attainment seem impossible.

Using a phenomenological approach, students were asked to participate in two interviews. Data gathered suggests that participants hide their homelessness from others. Lack of social support experiences, diverse living situations, and unique circumstances illuminated the complexity of this topic. The determination that individuals shared showed the impact of education within their lives and the hope it brought them. The results of this research have significant implications for higher education and the existing body of literature.

Advisor: Debra Mullen