Graduate Program

College Student Affairs

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Dena R. Kniess


Homeless college students face many obstacles in higher education. These students are the invisible population on campuses that are sometimes forgotten. Despite facing many challenges and barriers, these students continue to pursue a degree of higher education. The purpose of this study was to understand the experiences and obstacles homeless college students face while they word toward a degree. Understanding how successful homeless college students overcome barriers and utilize resources will provide information that may change the fate of future homeless college students. A phenomenological approach was utilized to explore the qualities and characterizes that allow homeless college students to build resilience and thrive. Research revealed that students use many different personal and community resources that enable resilience and thriving. Participants discussed the positive experience they had at the university despite being homeless.