June 25, 2024

Iscuk

International Student Club UK

Here are some ideas for helping rural students prepare for and graduate from college

Here are some ideas for helping rural students prepare for and graduate from college

Growing up, I often heard from my parents that I needed to “get out of here.” And I did get out, from Ohio’s Appalachian foothills to a university near Cincinnati. Not far in terms of miles, but light-years in lifestyle.

My trajectory from a trailer park in a small town to a two-story house in a subdivision was tenuous, but ultimately successful. For many students in Appalachia, though, college is an impossible dream. The rate of bachelor’s degree attainment or higher in rural, Appalachian Ohio is 18.6 percent, compared to 31 percent for non-Appalachian Ohio. This trend reflects the national dynamic between rural students and college-going.

Yet this is in an era when demand for college graduates is soaring. While many factors play into this relative lack of rural postsecondary education, there are concrete, commonsense policies that  school districts can put in place to change it, including increasing high school rigor and providing more Advance Placement and dual-enrollment courses.