WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) have introduced a bill that aims to help rural students reach their higher education goals and connect with employment in their hometowns.
The bill is called The Success for Rural Students and Communities Act, and the two senators said it 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 school districts, institutions of higher education, regional economic development entities, and rural community-serving organizations.
“Investing in the educational aspirations of rural students not only helps them to achieve their personal and career goals, but also contributes to the success of our communities,” Sen. Collins said. “Our bipartisan bill encourages schools and employers to forge partnerships that will put students on pathways to the high-need jobs available where they live. I encourage our colleagues to join us in supporting this legislation that will create additional jobs and economic opportunities in rural towns across the country.”
According to Sen. Collins, 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; however, only 59 percent of rural graduates go straight to college, whereas 62 percent of urban graduates and 67 percent of suburban graduates do so.