Students who are black, rural and impoverished overlooked by colleges

Despite the urgency in the United States to produce more college graduates, a large group of students is being overlooked in the effort to get more kids to consider higher education – rural students, especially minorities.

There are about 9.7 million rural students in the United States, 26.7 percent of whom are students of color.

University of Georgia professor Darris R. Means studies equity and college access and is concerned with the options being presented to these rural teens.

“Last fall, I was having a conversation with a group of high school students from a rural part of the Deep South. I asked them about college and university representatives that visited their predominantly black school, and I was shocked by their answers,” he writes in the AJC Get Schooled blog.

“I graduated from a suburban high school, and we had college and university representatives visiting on a regular basis. So I was surprised when this group of high school students shared that the only representatives they could recall were from the local technical college and military. While I believe technical or community colleges or the military are two avenues for students to pursue after high school, there should be more options.”