Rural students are the least likely to go to college | WVIA

Rural students are the least likely to go to college

Last Updated by Emily Hanford and Baumhardt, Alex on



Listen to this story on the Educate podcast. Subscribe now:

Dustin Gordon grew up thinking he would work the land. He's from Sharpsburg, Iowa, population 89, where agriculture is the lifeblood of the region. He says most of his friends from high school have gone into farming.

"And I was kind of the one exception," he says. "You know, my dad was a farmer and I kind of steered away from that."

Instead, Gordon is working on a degree in finance at the University of Iowa. Some of his friends have gone to college, too, but a lot of high school graduates from places like Sharpsburg don't — and if they do, they often don't finish.

Only 59 percent of rural high school graduates enroll in college the subsequent fall, according to the National Student Clearinghouse. That's a lower proportion than students from urban and suburban areas.

"It was amazing to me as a journalist — and embarrassing" to realize that college-going is less common among students in rural America, says Jon Marcus, the higher-education editor for The Hechinger Report who wrote an article about the rural higher education crisis. "We haven't covered this."

He says colleges have failed to pay attention to the needs of rural students, too.

"Rural students have sort of been invisible," Marcus said. "When people think about who needs help and convincing when it comes to going to college, they typically focus on non-white, urban students," he says.

On the podcast we talk about why many rural students still aren't getting college degrees, and why it matters.

Educate is a collaboration with The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit, independent news organization that focuses on inequality and innovation in education.

listenlive_fulllength.jpg cove_spacer.png
Now Playing on WVIA-FM



Distributed Denial Of Service Attacks-For-Hire Website Shut Down

European law enforcement agencies say they've arrested administrators and shut down a marketplace that allowed...

NPR/Ipsos Poll: Most Americans Support Teachers' Right To Strike

Just one in four Americans, including just 36 percent of Republicans, believe teachers in this country are paid...

EPA Chief Pruitt Faces Tough Questions On Capitol Hill

EPA chief Scott Pruitt could face tough questions on Capitol Hill Thursday. It's his first appearance before...

Boston Red Sox Want To Strike Former Owner's Name Off Street Sign

The team's owners want to rename Yawkey Way, outside Fenway Park, to distance themselves from former owner Tom...

New Lynching Memorial Is A Space 'To Talk About All Of That Anguish'

The National Memorial for Peace and Justice opens Thursday in Montgomery, Ala., and includes monuments for victims...

healthybites_sidebar2.png reserve3.png