Many scholars continue to call attention to the growing socioeconomic divide within the African American population (Wilson, 1987; Gates & West, 1996; hooks, 2000; Dyson, 2005). While desegregation has contributed to the growth of the largest African American middle class in history, the last forty years has witnessed the development of the largest African American underclass in history. The shifting socioeconomic background characteristics of first-year African American college students at four-year institutions reflect the growing class distinction within the African American population. Despite this increasing heterogeneity, current research on African American college students typically addresses socioeconomic status separately from ethnic identity. This study contributes to postsecondary research by investigating the compounding effects of ethnicity and socioeconomic identity for African American student experiences during the first-year of university study.