Much of Eastern Montana is considered a higher education ‘desert’ where only half of high school students go on to college, according to results of a study conducted by the Urban Institute. Although many towns have community colleges, work tends to be more of an option than college for many kids.
The results included data suggesting approximately 16 percent of the U.S. population is without access to broadband internet speeds that would allow those unable to relocate to study courses online.
Researchers are suggesting that four-year colleges work with community colleges to offer bachelor’s degrees on campuses close to education deserts, and that the federal government do more to extend broadband internet access to rural communities. Some schools have even started a door-to-door shuttle service for students within 25 miles of their campus.