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The College Decision in Rural Arizona: How Can Educators Help?

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There are many factors that influence the college decision process, but rural students face a unique set of challenges because of the environment in which they make the decision. This

There are many factors that influence the college decision process, but rural students face a unique set of challenges because of the environment in which they make the decision. This is a qualitative study that combines a review of previous literature on the subject with a survey of twelve students from the graduating class of 2011 in a rural area of Arizona. Results from the interviews found that the rural students consider the perception of importance of a college degree, parental influence, and self-discovery as important factors in the decision making process. In addition, not all non-college-going students felt that college was necessary for a better quality of living, but did express desire for more development opportunities while in high school. The findings resulted in the following recommendations for local educators to help students better navigate the college decision process: teach parents how to have more meaningful conversations, provide step-by-step assistance to students about the college application process, and provide more opportunities for self/educational/career development to students.

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  • 2015-05