Improving Postsecondary Access for Rural America

Title: Planting the Seeds, Working the Land: Postsecondary Programs in Rural Areas

Source: National Conference of State Legislatures

Author: Bennett G. Boggs

A recent brief by the National Conference of State Legislatures discusses how colleges and universities can help improve postsecondary access and completion for rural communities in the United States.

According to the brief, adults living in rural communities have lower levels of educational attainment and are less likely to be employed than those living in non-rural communities. In addition, the college attainment gap between rural and urban communities increased by nearly three times between 1970 and 2015, from 4.8 percent to 15 percent.

The brief includes challenges and barriers to postsecondary education in rural communities including geography, as many rural students live in areas known as education deserts. It concludes with examples of how some colleges and universities are creating more avenues for support and access into postsecondary education for rural students, as well as how state legislatures are working to increase access for this population.

To read the report, click here.

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