New Publication on Educational Barriers Highlights the Correlation Between Student Location and College Enrollment

One of the greatest deterrents to college accessibility is simply a matter of student location. We’ve seen that in both urban and rural areas, a combination of cultural and economic issues tied to location prevent many prospective students from making it to college., a leading provider of college planning resources and higher education research, announced today the release of its second publication exploring student educational barriers, focusing on location as an academic deterrent. Specifically, the article addresses the capacity to which urban and rural locations influence sociocultural and socioeconomic circumstances and how these factors impact a student’s ability to access a college education.

“One of the greatest deterrents to college accessibility is simply a matter of student location. We’ve seen that in both urban and rural areas, a combination of cultural and economic issues tied to location prevent many prospective students from making it to college,” says Stephanie Snider, general manager of interviewed a diverse panel of individuals from university faulty, non-profit organizations, and students with personal experience to discuss the role they see location playing in the college application process. The eight person panel was interviewed for their unique knowledge and perspectives on education, accessibility, and underserved youth in urban and rural areas. Their perspectives offer a careful examination of how overpopulation in city schools, depleted education resources in rural areas, and household income discourage students from enrolling in college.

“This is a major issue in education that is often ignored. We want to foster a dialogue that can lead to the development of better systems and networks for student support in urban and rural locations across America,” added Snider.

To view the complete publication, please visit:

Meet the panel:

Ethan Zagore, Director of TRiO Programs, University of Notre Dame

“Students from underserved areas should identify a few engaged school administrators and teachers to provide direction from beginning their college search process to their arrival on-campus after admission. Assistance also can be provided in places students frequent, such as community centers, churches, or homes of close friends. Residents who have attained postsecondary education, or those that have successfully aided their children in reaching college, can provide counsel.”

Zach Hawkins, Director, Montana GEAR UP

“One of the challenges we have in our GEAR UP communities is a lack of college going role models. Students do not see many adults who have attended college outside of their teachers. Each time a student from one of our communities attends and is successful in college, they blaze a trail for those behind them.”

Geoff Hunt, High School Director, Breakthrough New York

“I’m a big fan of breaking down big tasks and goals into much smaller, more manageable bits and pieces and the college process is tailor-made for this approach. Once someone understands all the steps involved, if she just makes a schedule and keeps to it, the goal becomes much more achievable.”

Kelcie Diglio, Student, University of New Mexico

“I believe it makes it a lot more difficult to apply for college if you’re from an underserved urban community. For one, you don’t have the support and encouragement you need. Also, you don’t have the resources you need because you may be one of few who are trying to apply so you don’t know who to ask, where to go, or what you need. If you don’t have the resources to visit other campuses, your opportunities may be limited. You may have to settle for a school that doesn’t meet your needs, isn’t right for you, or is too expensive.”

EJ Carrion, Co-Founder & CEO, The Student Success Agency

“Regardless if your parents or people from your community did not go to college, this does not mean they do not want to help you. Students should focus on sharing their career plans and long-term goals as everyone can relate to having dreams.”

Susan Schaurer, Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Management and Director of Admission, Miami University

“When students are encouraged to pursue their goals, when they are told more is wanted for them, and that they have a network at home who wants to see them succeed, it provides the affirmation and assurance students often need to keep forging ahead in the face of obstacles.”

Amelia Leighton Gamel, Assistant Professor and Faculty Fellow of Equity & Inclusion, Jackson College

“Look carefully at the colleges students are considering attending to see what types of resources and supports are offered on-campus. For example, do the colleges they’re considering applying to offer Open Educational Resources (OERs) to reduce the cost of textbooks? Do they offer bus passes to offset transportation costs? How about meal plans and food pantries?”

Clarissa Vasquez, Student, University of New Mexico

“If you truly want to go to college, you can do it. Keep asking questions wherever you can; whether it be your high school counselor, or one of your favorite teachers, just keep asking. Find and take advantage of any and every resource that may be available to you, even if you have to go on a quest to find it.”

About helps prospective students find the school that best meets their needs through proprietary research, user-friendly guides, and hundreds of unique college rankings. They also provide a wide array of college planning, financial aid, and career resources to help all students get the most from their education and prepare them for the world after college.

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