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ERIC Number: ED556965
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 213
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3039-6024-6
Drivin' Trucks, Huntin' Bucks, and Reading Aristotle?: The Rural Student's College Choice Dilemma
Strawn, Rachel Mayes
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The College of William and Mary
Even though rural students make up a fifth of the population of all American students, they do not attend college in numbers equivalent to urban and suburban students. The rural student faces influences related to college choice that differ from those of suburban and urban students. These influences, which could be considered problems or barriers, or conversely, simply matters of choice, are related to the rural environment in which they live. College choice literature, which has been in existence for about the last 40 years, but which has expanded greatly in the last 30, attempts to provide an understanding of the influences on college going behavior. This study adds to the body of knowledge on college choice, specifically helping others understand what former rural high school students perceive as the factors that influenced their post-secondary plans regarding higher education. The study used Perna's (2006a) model of college choice as a framework. This study concluded that parental actions are more important than parental words. Rural parents who want their children to attend college should take concrete steps like visiting colleges, encouraging application to college, filling out financial aid forms, aiding in high school course selection, and having their student take the SAT. It also concluded that individuals within rural schools and communities matter, including extended family members, teachers, guidance counselors, and mentors, and that these individuals have the opportunity to influence the behaviors of students towards, and away from, higher education. Course-taking is also important, but not as critical as test taking and participating in the college application process. Rural students who do not take concrete steps towards college, by taking the SAT, applying to college, or filling out financial aid applications while in high school, are unlikely to enter higher education immediately after graduating. However, these students may return to higher education in the future, so it important to have many on ramps towards educational attainment. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: SAT (College Admission Test)