Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Paul Hurley

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© 2017 Cristina D. Lee


In this thesis I wanted to apply the Sen’s framework in Development as Freedom to college campuses. In my experience at Claremont McKenna College, I have seen how some students are able to take advantage of the resources better than others. Given that we were all accepted by the same admissions office, I always questioned why did some students know how to take advantage of the system. In order to explore this, I first discuss Sen’s capability approach. Then, I show how the capability approach is more comprehensive than social networking theory and William Deresiewicz’s account on elite colleges. Finally, I will give my own policy recommendations with Sen’s capability approach in mind. A college that better supports individuals is important because it will allow everyone to enhance their capabilities and pursue the life that they have reason to value.