You can’t go to college if it’s too far away. Or, at least, distance makes the commitment that much harder. This report over at The Chronicle for Higher Education uses the term “education desert” to refer to those parts of the country where you can’t drive to a two- or four-year higher educational institution in one hour. Their analysis takes some thoughtful turns. For example, they do not count institutions that accept fewer than 30% of applicants, arguing that those are not “viable options” for most Americans.
And one of their findings sure to get attention is this:
Nationally, what do we know about the people who live in these deserts? Over three-fourths of them are white. That’s a disproportionate amount: White Americans constituted only 62 percent of the population in 2016.
It is an interesting report to fuel thoughtful discussions about the relationship between class, race, and social mobility. And for some insights on the limits of the study, FlowingData offers a couple quick points of critique.