Oregon Pell Grants: Women Raise Rural Vigor
The Pell Grant voucher is the Federal Government’s most significant program for access to Higher Education. This study of the Pell Grant voucher awarded by Oregon community colleges in the 2012-13 college year adds another graphic chapter to the series of such studies led by the Education Policy Center at The University of Alabama. Much of the series focus so far has been rural America. Of Oregon’s 17 community colleges, 14 are classified as rural-serving by the Basic Classification of the prestigous Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The other three are Portland, the largest urban community college of the Pacific Northwest, and the nearby suburban colleges of Mt. Hood and Clackamas.
Most conspicuous in the data is the heavy dependence of rural colleges on the Pell Grant voucher. On average, at rural Oregon’s 14 colleges, Pell Grant recipients number more than half of the FTE enrollment. This is consistent with earlier state wide studies across Kansas, Arkansas, Alabama, and Mississippi, in which rural colleges commonly show half or more of their FTE enrollment earning credits through Pell.