Why Don't More Students From Rural Georgia Attend Top State Universities?

Jun 22, 2018

Georgia has the nation’s third largest rural school population, but less than 30 percent of those students attend a big college or university. Part of the explanation is that students from rural areas are more likely to come from low-income households, and transitioning from a small town to a big city can both be daunting and financially nerve-racking for students thinking about college.


Most colleges around Georgia recognize that their student population lacks in rural students. State lawmakers recognize this too: In the 2018 General Assembly session, the Georgia legislature poured $40 million into helping rural areas that are struggling.

We talked to Marjorie Poss, a guidance counselor at Pickens High School, about why students decide to stay close to home and how these fears can be overcome. We also spoke with Hannah Velcoff, a student who made the leap from Dawson County to New York University.