Rural Missouri schools with placed post-secondary advisers report increase in college enrollment rates

Published: Oct. 7, 2022 at 11:29 AM CDT
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HOLLISTER, Mo. (KY3) -As undergraduate enrollment across the nation continues to decline, schools with RootEd Alliance advisers have seen college enrollment rates increase by an average of 10.5%.

RootEd Alliance advisors are trained and placed in rural high schools in various states. One of those schools is Hollister High School.

The mission of RootEd Alliance is to create a path to a stronger future for students in rural America because many rural students face unique barriers to college and career access. Student success advisor Arie Good works with school counselors to ensure every student has a strong plan for life after graduation and resources, like financial assistance, to make that plan a reality. Last fall, the state announced an initiative to use federal relief dollars to expand the program to at least 135 other rural high schools. Many rural students say the college application process can be overwhelming, and if it weren’t for their adviser, they wouldn’t be going to college.

“I just got accepted in MSU and Missouri. Good helped me with that application process,” said Hollister senior Rachel Robinson. “I think it would be a lot of weight on me if she were not helping me. I wouldn’t know where to start on anything.”

”Once they see these things are capable and probable for them, I think it alleviates a lot of stress,” said Good. “It just really helps them see there is that path for their student even in a rural area.”

As the program expands, advisers now serve 12,000 Missouri senior students. Earlier this year, state lawmakers and Missouri Gov. Mike Parson dedicated $9 million in budget funding to keep the program growing.

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