High-achieving, low-income students who don’t live in major metropolitan areas are less likely to end up in highly selective colleges, according to a working paper from the Cambridge, Mass.-based National Bureau of Economic Research.
The study says many low-income, high-achieving students don’t apply to colleges like Stanford or Harvard because they lack the information or the encouragement that their higher-income counterparts have.
The researchers said most high-achieving, low-income students enrolled in such colleges come from just 15 major metropolitan areas, and they’re more likely to attend magnet or selective high schools with a “critical mass” of high achievers. In nonmetro areas, such students tend to be more isolated from other high achievers.
A version of this article appeared in the January 23, 2013 edition of Education Week as Rural College-Going