Millions Live in Higher Education 'Deserts'

A new report by the Urban Institute's education policy program found that about three million Americans live more than 25 miles from a broad-access public college and do not have the type of high-speed Internet connection necessary for online college programs, reports Inside Higher Ed.

The report used data from the U.S. Department of Education and the Federal Communications Commission to identify education 'deserts' and then cross-referenced that information with Census Bureau data to determine who lives in them. According to the report, 17.6 million adults live in a higher education desert, and 3.1 percent lack access to online and physical college programs. 

The report stated: "This study demonstrates what many Native Americans, rural Americans and other Americans living in education deserts already know: the internet has not untethered all of us from our geographic locations. As long as broadband access depends on geography, place still plays an important role in access to higher education."

 

Related Links

Urban Institute Report

https://www.urban.org/research/publication/disconnected-higher-education

Inside Higher Ed

https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2018/02/02/3-million-americans-live-higher-education-deserts