The Success for Rural Students and Communities Act aims to improve college access and post-secondary outcomes
Nationwide, rural students tend to graduate from high school at higher rates than their peers in urban districts, and at about the same rate as their suburban peers. Despite their relatively high graduation rates, rural high school students are less likely than their urban and suburban peers to pursue higher education. The majority of jobs that pay middle-class wages require an additional credential, but less than a third of rural adults hold an advanced degree. With the appropriate supports, more rural students can apply to, enroll in, and complete post-secondary education.
Introduced on January 8 by U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH), The Success for Rural Students and Communities Act would improve college access and success for rural students by spurring innovation and investment in new strategies to prepare them to complete their credentials and step into the high-demand jobs in their communities. The bill would create a demonstration program to encourage rural community stakeholders to partner together to help their students matriculate, graduate, and enter the workforce. These partnerships would draw on the talents of local school districts, institutions of higher education, regional economic development entities, and rural community-serving organizations.
The Success for Rural Students and Communities Act aims to improve post-secondary outcomes for rural students and advance economic and workforce development in their home communities by filling high-demand jobs. It would:
Grants under this pilot program would be awarded to stakeholder partnerships to support activities that accomplish several objectives:
The bill would authorize $60 million beginning in FY 2021. Grantees would be required to match 20 percent of their grant total, which will encourage investment in rural areas by state, private sector, and philanthropic partners. Up to 10 percent of funds would be reserved for data collection and research, to identify effective and innovative practices, and to disseminate findings.