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Higher Ed in the News

Top students from rural areas shun elite colleges

May 3, 2010

Despite their stated commitments to recruiting talented young people from the nation's rural areas, prestigious colleges generally are much less likely to enroll highly qualified students from rural communities than comparable students from the cities and suburbs, according to a study presented at the annual conference of the American Educational Research Association.

The study examining rural students' access to top colleges was conducted by Matthew A. Holsapple and Julie Posselt, both doctoral students at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and research assistants at the university's Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education.

In trying to figure out why qualified rural students are so much less likely to enroll in elite institutions, the researchers found that the factors influencing rural students' enrollment patterns are significantly different than those influencing the enrollment patterns of students from urban or suburban environments.

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Read more from the Chronicle of Higher Education.