"How far do you live from the nearest university or junior college?"

  1. Yesterday I drove 50 miles to visit a couple of elderly cousins I had never met. I met their wives and a couple of their kids and some grandkids. The kids were in their mid-forties and the grandkids in their mid-twenties.

    Driving home, I was comparing their lives with the lives of
    the folks in our family's line.

    The elderly cousins and their offspring have not enjoyed the
    economic success our line of folks has. They haven't traveled
    and experienced a lot that we have.

    I was trying to figure out why we seem to have fared better.
    We certainly aren't any smarter, ambitious, enterprising.

    The one deciding factor I came up with was that we had
    access to a junior college that was only 10 miles away
    from our home.

    The junior college nearest to my cousins is more than a hundred
    miles away. None of their kids or grandkids has/is attending.

    Just curious if you all would agree that this is the advantage.

    Any similar experiences in your family? Does ACCESS to higher
    education define a persons' prospects in life?

    And, if so, why don't states try to build more junior colleges?
    Does anyone live more than 50 miles from an institution of
    higher learning?
  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   Mkue
    Good question.

    I think access is a very big part of ones decision to further education. Every year our local high graduates around 100 people, and maybe 75% of them choose to go on to a Jr. College or 4 yr University as we have several within 30 min. driving distance. Some commute and car pool, others live on campus or share a house off campus.

    Finances, motivation, desire, support and a passion for a major are other factors.

    I wish more people had access.
  4. by   adrienurse
    15 minute walk to the University of Manitoba
  5. by   PennyLane
    I'm in Baltimore, so even if you drove to D.C., that's only 40 miles away. There are tons of colleges within a 50 mile radius from here.

    Just in my county there are 3 or 4 community colleges, plus one or two downtown.
  6. by   Spidey's mom
    80 miles or an hour and 15 minutes from the nearest Community College (where I went to nursing school). The nearest University is 3 hours away. Most kids leave home to go to college up here. Or ride the bus. (oh that was so fun . . . .

  7. by   CashewLPN
    um... within a 20 mile radius (eg. the entire city, northern NJ)
    theres more colleges and universities than I can count...

    its cool...
  8. by   SmilingBluEyes
    It's about $$$as always; if it's not ecomonically advantageous for a college/university to exist in a rural locale, it does not. simple as that. NOT fair, no. I was one who lived in rural OK, so I know how it is.
  9. by   passing thru
    This topic piqued..peaked ? my curiosity because I heard on the
    radio that West Virginia has the lowest percentile of any state of graduating seniors going on to higher education.

    The percent of seniors going for higher education was 49 %.

    The radio show was about a bill before the state legislature to free up more $$$ for scholarships & grants.
    I think $$$ is important, but access is MORE important.
    I attended my local community college--lived at home, qualified for a couple of grants-- and each semester cost less than $500.
    Having to travel > 100 miles, I probably would not have done it.
    " " " >200 miles, I know I would not have done it.

    If we hear of plans for a community college being discussed in our towns, I think we should get involved and vote for / approve the bond sales to finance these schools.

    In my little town, it took 12 years from the time the junior college
    idea was hatched until the first student enrolled.
    This junior college graduates many-many-many trained/professional/skilled workers.....people who now have the means to earn a good living.
    There's electricians, air-conditioning men, nurses ADN, LVN/LPN,
    operator positions for the chemical plants, computers--all kinds of jobs-- hundreds of positions are listed in their catalogue.
    Prior to opening this community college, most kids after high school graduation hung out, got married, moved away, guys went into fishing, logging, or working on someone's farm.
  10. by   Disablednurse
    I live just across the street. I went thru the LPN school there and RN school there and have a lot of people ask me if I have ever left town for anything.
  11. by   Tweety
    That is an interesting point. A lot of factors go into it. I've always lived very close to colleges and universities, to where I've been able to commute by car or subway.

    My three cousins in the country of Alabama, and I mean deep in the sticks were 100s of miles from a college. They all three went. I think it also comes from what the culture of the family is. And I don't mean ethnic culture, but what the family expectations are, how they value education, etc.

    Of course my family might be the exception. Statistically speaking you may be onto something.
  12. by   passing thru
    I'm up here in the hills with my cousins. Just arrived < 2 weeks ago.
    Yesterday I went to the city library to use their copier. It was 5:10 p.m. The library was closed. The library is within a half mile of a elementary, a middle, and a high school. School is not out here, not yet. This is the last week. Making up snow days.
    I haven't seen a city library that closed before 8 p.m. in twenty years.
    The city I was in before this one, with an equivalent population,
    never closed the library before 8 p.m. and the school kids hit the library after school every day and most stayed until 6 p.m.
    The librarians said they came to do their homework. And I would see them with their papers spread out all over the desks writing and studying, sometimes in pairs and in groups.
    They had about 25 computers for the students to use....well, more than that, there was about 10 more in the room for the wee ones, kids around age 12 and under used them.
    Again, it is access.

    I think education may not be a priority here....although I don't want to jump to conclusions.
    I'm interested in checking out the librarys' computers,
    so, when I go by the library today and see how many
    computers are there and available to the students.
    Then , I will decide what their education priorities are in this
    burg. Access/
  13. by   Tilleycs
    I think DESIRE has more to do with it than access or money. If you WANT to go to college, you will FIND and/or MAKE a way to go.
  14. by   Q.
    Again, Tilleyces, I agree.

    I rode the city bus for an hour to attend college and also took out loans to pay for it. Which is why I am still paying them off, which is why I like to keep more of what I earn so I can continue to repay my debt.