This paper examines social distance and how it relates to academic performance for students in Kentucky high schools. To perform this examination, I ran a series of bivariate regressions of student performance scores and differing variables that account for social distance such as race and/or ethnicity, socioeconomic status, types of classes offered in a school, and, primarily, location of the school. Results showed that as the number of students of color enrolled at a school increases, the gap in performance between groups of traditionally underserved students and non-underserved students increases. This gap also increases as more students are enrolled in Advanced Placement courses. Results also showed significant differences between locales in the performance gap between groups of students, with students in city locales having the largest performance gap, and students in rural areas having the smallest performance gap. This study contributes to the significant body of literature surrounding social distance but is unique in its examination of the subject in this particular fashion.

Semester/Year of Award

Fall 2019


James N. Maples

Mentor Professional Affiliation

Anthropology, Sociology, and Social Work

Access Options

Open Access Thesis

Document Type

Bachelor Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level