Sunday, May 2, 2010

Rural high schoolers pass on top colleges

In the 2008-2009 school year, the largest number of entering students came from New Jersey (715), California (589), New York (573), Pennsylvania (268), Maryland (209), Texas (207), and Virginia (192).

A recent study may help shed light on why states such as South Dakota and Montana are underrepresented. Rural students are 2.5 times less likely to attend an elite college than students from urban or suburban areas, according to one study being presented at the annual American Educational Research Association today.

The study found that even after controlling for several other factors, students from rural areas were more likely to turn down colleges listed in U.S. News and World Report’s top-ranked institutions and attend a non-ranked four-year institution.

Still, the researchers conceded that the study had limitations. They acknowledged that part of the phenomenon they observed might stem from the fact that many top-ranked institutions are on the East and West Coasts, which have a disproportionate amount of urban and suburban areas.

Read the article in the Chronicle of Higher Education, “Top Students From Rural America Shun Elite Colleges,” for more details.