Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Education-Higher Education (M.Ed.)

Degree Program

College of Education

First Advisor

Karyn Rabourn

Second Advisor

Jonathan Bartels

Third Advisor

Jennifer Stewart

Academic Year



Fat college students are an understudied demographic of students in student affairs research. This qualitative study interviews student affairs professionals about their experiences as fat undergraduate students to help student affairs professionals better understand specific challenges and experiences fat students face concerning finding a sense of belonging at their university and to further expand the literature where fat students' voices are at the center of the research. Five participants shared their experiences with co-curricular and academic engagement on campus. These participants were successful in social incorporation, however unique challenges faced this population of students. Participants expressed finding academic settings uncomfortable and certain aspects of young adulthood inaccessible, such as dating. The lack of awareness of the hurdles fat people have from administration meant little was done to help these participants, resulting in some staying silent about their experiences until post-graduation.