Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Dianne Ferguson

Second Advisor

Dawn Hunter

Third Advisor

Michael Madrid

Fourth Advisor

Jason McAlexander


For this phenomenological study, thirteen participants from two private universities, located in the western region of the United States shared their lived experiences of being a college student who does not request accommodations. The author used recursive analysis to analyze qualitative data from semistructured interviews. Initial codes were combined to create interconnected families of codes. A second level of analysis resulted in seven spaces in which participants described their lived experiences. Findings suggest participants experience various tensions, ranging from incompatible options to competing perspectives, as they negotiate their identify and environment. including the principle of opportunity cost. Recommendations for college administrators and faculty, including Universal Design in higher education are included.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.