By Tiffany Ballard
For rural Californians, a college education can be hard to come by. It’s not an issue of desire. It’s an issue of access.
I live in Shasta County. I love where I live, but for many in Shasta County, like me, college is out of reach because of limited funds and few nearby college institutions. For example, our community has a high poverty rate, and just 22% of Shasta County residents have a bachelor’s degree or higher, lagging far below the national average of 36%.
Here, the nearest four-year public college is located an hour or more away. This education desert creates a physical barrier to entry for residents to achieve their college dreams. Research has shown that 50 miles are a critical barrier for students to travel. This is a challenge as there are regions in California where there is no university within 100 miles or the public university available has no more capacity.
Click here to read the full article in the Redding Record Searchlight.