Friday, July 05, 2019

Higher-ed gap between rural and urban areas is growing, partly because of 'education deserts' with no colleges

Rural students are now just about as likely to complete high school as their urban counterparts, but they have become less likely to go to college, partly because the United States has "education deserts" with no colleges, Adam Harris writes for The Atlantic.

For example, Harris notes, "One in three Montanans lives more than 60 minutes from the nearest college campus. . .. Nearly 40 percent of first-time, full-time freshmen attend institutions fewer than 50 miles from home, and these statistics begin to sketch the outlines of a crisis."

Harris quotes a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture: “The share of urban adults with at least a bachelor’s degree grew from 26 percent to 33 percent, while in rural areas the share grew from 15 percent to 19 percent.” He writes, "The gap could be due, in part, to students leaving rural areas after college—or to adults with college degrees moving to urban or suburban areas in search of jobs."

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