Rural-Nonrural Disparities in Postsecondary Educational Attainment Revisited

Soo yong Byun, Judith L. Meece, Matthew J. Irvin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

160 Scopus citations


Using data from the National Educational Longitudinal Study, this study revisited rural-nonrural disparities in educational attainment by considering a comprehensive set of factors that constrain and support youth's college enrollment and degree completion. Results showed that rural students were more advantaged in community social resources compared to nonrural students, and these resources were associated with a significant increase in the likelihood of bachelor's degree attainment. Yet results confirmed that rural students lagged behind nonrural students in attaining a bachelor's degree largely due to their lower socioeconomic background. The findings present a more comprehensive picture of the complexity of geographic residence in shaping college enrollment and degree attainment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)412-437
Number of pages26
JournalAmerican Educational Research Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education


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