Paige Schneider, Assistant Professor of Politics and Women’s & Gender Studies at Sewanee and Emily Partin, Family Resource Center Director for Grundy County, TN Schools and Director of Discover Together, traveled to Washington D.C. to present their work on post-secondary experiences of a sample of rural Appalachian youth at the┬áRural Poverty Research Conference.

Among other things, they found that almost all students in their rural youth sample viewed college-going as routine, expected, or an impressive accomplishment, yet a substantial number never enrolled in college despite nearly half of those individuals having been accepted. Of those who did enroll, a over half were no longer enrolled and had not graduated. Finances and family commitments were cited as key reasons for leaving school or not enrolling in the first place.