Biden-Harris Administration Awards $44.5 Million to Improve Postsecondary Education Access and Completion for Students in Rural Communities
The Biden-Harris Administration announced $44.5 million in grants to 22 institutions of higher education to improve rates of postsecondary education enrollment, persistence, and completion among students in rural communities. The Rural Postsecondary and Economic Development (RPED) grant program promotes the development of high-quality career pathways aligned to high-skill, high-wage, and in-demand industry sectors and occupations in the region.
In America’s rural communities, only 29% of individuals between the ages of 18 and 24 are enrolled in higher education, compared to almost 48% of their counterparts in urban areas and 42% in suburban areas. In addition to navigating how to pay for college and the application process, students in rural areas face other barriers to accessing and completing college, including reliable transportation, food and housing insecurity, and access to health care and high-speed internet.
“The grants announced today by the Biden-Harris Administration reflect our commitment to empowering rural communities to build on their strengths, attract new investments, and prepare students for the high-skill, high-wage jobs of tomorrow,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “When we invest in postsecondary attainment in rural communities, we create pathways for students to find rewarding careers that do not require them to leave their hometowns for economic opportunity. These grant awards will help rural institutions Raise the Bar for student success and the attainment of valuable degrees and credentials that lead to brighter futures and greater prosperity.”
A full version of the press release is available on the U.S. Department of Education’s website.