Sean Cleary

Date of Award

January 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Economics & Finance

First Advisor

Daniel Biederman


With a growing focus on immigration to the United States, it is paramount to understand the factors that influence the educational outcomes of the immigrant population. In this paper, I focus on how the social capital of second-generation immigrant students affects their post-secondary educational enrollment. Using data from the Children of Immigrant Longitudinal Survey (1991-2006), I found that the students in the survey were significantly more likely to enroll in post-secondary education if they had a social group in high school that had college aspirations. The converse was also true, with students who had a social group with no college aspirations being significantly less likely to enroll in post-secondary education themselves. These findings were consistent even when a robust set of control variables were included in the models, such as prior academic performance, parental socioeconomic status, and citizenship status.