The Vermont Connection


Rural students in the United States have a difficult time envisioning themselves at a college or university. K-12 education and culture in rural communities play a pivotal role in developing rural students’ perceptions of higher education. Additionally, guidance from college counselors, parents, and admission officers’ impacts rural students’ confidence in college attainment. These students are less likely to pursue college due to distance from higher education institutions and feeling a lack of connection. If rural students are eventually recruited, admitted, and enrolled into higher education, they must navigate obstacles in academic and student life differently from their peers. In this paper, I will explore the stakeholders who influence rural students and their perception of the college experience as well as what admission offices can do to encourage and motivate these students to pursue higher education.