The Challenge to Address
Postsecondary education has never been a greater differentiator in a student’s future success and livelihood. This reality has profound implications for rural communities and small towns, where less than 30 percent of adults hold a bachelor’s or associate’s degree. Changing the odds for rural students isn’t just a moral imperative, it’s an economic necessity.
32% of U.S. high school students live in rural communities and small towns
Only 29% of rural young adults aged 18-24 are currently enrolled in college
84% of jobs in the U.S. require education beyond high school
Only about 7% of philanthropic dollars in the U.S. goes to rural areas
rootEd Alliance launched in 2018 to address the most challenging obstacles to success after high school for students in rural America.
rootEd Alliance partners with local and national organizations working to meaningfully improve postsecondary and career outcomes with advice, exposure and access to financial resources, so that all students in rural areas and towns can pursue their dreams. Together, these organizations form a holistic model that supports students starting in high school through college and beyond.
Every student should graduate high school on a path to achieve career success and economic stability.
rootEd places dedicated college and career advisors in rural high schools to work with all students to define and plan their futures, whether through a college degree, work-based learning, or military service.
How Missouri Is Increasing Community College Enrollment Among Rural Students
Featured on Forbes (March 21, 2022)
rootEd Alliance Achieves Strong Momentum in Serving
Rural High Schools Amid National Decline in College Enrollment
Featured on Business Wire (March 17, 2022)
New Program Aims to Boost Postsecondary Outcomes for Rural Students
Featured on Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (October 18, 2021)
Hillcrest High School gaining ‘student success advisor’ from Ozarks Technical Community College
Featured on Springfield News-Leader (September 22, 2021)
How to raise rural enrollment in higher education? Go local
Featured on Washington Post, Hechinger Report (December 4, 2020)
Helping Rural Students Head to College in Uncertain Times
Featured on Aspen Institute (May 14, 2020)
OTC embeds advisors to help rural students attend college
Featured on Ozarks Technical Community College (February 4, 2020)
Through grant, OTC offers proactive advising to rural high school students
Featured on Springfield News-Leader (February 3, 2020)
New Bill Proposes Federal Grant Program for Rural Postsecondary and Economic Development
Featured on Business Wire (January 8, 2020)
“Special”: Reflections of a high school senior from rural Missouri
Featured on Medium (September 27, 2019)
Clearing the Path to Success for America’s Rural Students: Meet rootEd Alliance
Featured on Medium (September 27, 2019)
High school student selected for Emerging Rural Leaders Program at UChicago
Featured on Bangor Daily News (August 21, 2019)
Program aims to jumpstart student opportunities
Featured on The Southeast Missourian (July 25, 2019)
Most of the Union Class of ’19 is college-bound, thanks to a native son
Featured on The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (April 26, 2019)
rootEd Alliance Members
rootEd Alliance brings together high-impact organizations and educational institutions to support rural students of all academic levels and interests as they pursue and complete postsecondary education. Across the Alliance, students are provided with dedicated support, tools and resources as they chart their pathways to stronger economic futures.
rootEd Missouri is a partnership between two organizations with deep roots in Missouri – Ozarks Technical Community College (OTC), and rootEd Alliance.
Missouri Postsecondary Advising Initiative
In fall 2021, rootEd Missouri, in partnership with the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, launched a three-year initiative provides select rural high schools with federal funding to hire college and career advisors to work alongside counselors to help students plan for success after high school.
rootEd Alliance is made possible by a group of family business owners and individuals, including Trott Family Philanthropies, the Steward Family Foundation, Emily Rauh Pulitzer, the Carl and Marilyn Thoma Foundation, Barbara and AndyTaylor and the William T. Kemper Foundation, among others. This collaborative effort was borne out of BDT & MSD Partners’ commitment to building impactful social projects that bring donors together around big ideas that are underresourced and overlooked by the philanthropic sector, with great need and great potential for impact.