Within only three decades, China has emerged as a major force in the world economy. Numerous social reforms and subsequent large-scale, ongoing foundational transformations have encouraged and simultaneously required China to increase its international competitiveness and build human capital for further economic development. In an effort to reposition itself in these ways, China continues to expand upon its system of higher education while also attempting to bolster the quality of its most established postsecondary institutions. Indeed, “education, broadly defined, is essential to the utilization of human potential for social and economic progress” (Rong & Shi, 2001, p. 108). However, despite the continued expansion and development of China’s system of higher education, it is arguably the case that increased educational opportunities have further widened existing inequality of opportunity, particularly between those living within rural and urban contexts (Ciupak, 2008; Rong & Shi, 2001; Yang, 2006). For example, when considering the degree of institutional differentiation within China’s system of higher education, students from peasant families represent 56.2% of the enrollment in 2- to 3-year programs and vocational institutes in comparison to less than 18% in prestigious universities, such as Beijing University and Tsinghua University (Yang, 2006). Based upon these statistical findings, researchers conclude that the majority of rural students who gain access to higher education during the expansion enrollment period are concentrated in lower-tier, local institutions wherein they receive neither equivalent resources, opportunities, nor outcomes (Yang, 2006).