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The Students Who Don’t Believe College Is an Option

Here in California’s heavily Latino agricultural heart, Adrian Lopez has worked on farms and in construction.

Now he’s doing something few people like him from around here ever do: He’s going to college.

Overshadowed by attention to the challenges faced by nonwhite high-school graduates in cities, low-income black, Hispanic, and Native American students in rural areas like this are equally unlikely to go on to college.

Factor in the higher dropout rate among nonwhite students in rural high schools, and the odds that black and Hispanic students from areas like this will ever earn degrees are just as low as for their urban counterparts.