When administrators, parents, and professors discuss money in the context of higher ed, they mean student loans and tuition. But when students talk money, it’s much more about who’s got it and who doesn’t. For students of modest means at America’s elite colleges, money acts as a barrier to extracurricular or social activities, or even friendships. What’s even more aggravating is that the students who have money can be blissfully ignorant about their peers’ financial reality. College kids are closer to being in high school than they are to being adults, and those social challenges like peer pressure can feel big in the dormitory. Sam Brodey’s article in 34th Street starts an important conversation among students about how to talk about, and how to understand, money as social currency.

Not Enough

Sam Brodey | 34th Street | April 3, 2014 | 8 minutes (2,085 words)