Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Georgia Journal of College Student Affairs






Rural students graduate high school at a rate comparable to their urban and suburban peers; however, people from rural areas attend college at the lowest rate. Due to this discrepancy and the ever-growing importance of postsecondary education, this article summarizes and synthesizes works on the college enrollment of students from rural areas. The article begins with background information on the benefits of postsecondary education, definitions of rurality, the educational attainment of rural people, as well as institutional type and attendance patterns of rural students. Next, using Bronfenbrenner’s ecological model of human development as a guiding framework, literature about the individual, family, and school factors associated with the college enrollment of rural people is reviewed. Based upon these discussions, recommendations for educational practices are explored, providing ways to promote the postsecondary enrollment of people from rural areas. These sections are then summarized within one table as a quick guide and resource for student affairs and higher education scholarly practitioners. Recommendations for educational research are also included towards the end of the article.


Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.