Research published by Laura Beamer and Marshall Steinbaum describes the “drastic inequality along lines of race, gender, class and geography” that in many cases is remedies only by the presence of a proprietary college or school. The authors note the persistence of “education deserts” generates “sparse” political attention, even though the phenomenon has a great deal to with the holy grail of post-secondary education: access.
The study, entitled “Unequal and Uneven: The Geography of Higher Education Access” introduces a new metric, the SCI (school concentration index). Those markets with an SCI of 10,000 or higher are considered “education deserts.” The consequence currently applies to more than 40.8 million people in the U.S.
The research also explains how proprietary colleges and schools frequently step in to serve the education deserts, or markets with no more than one public institution within a 45-minute drive. “In the years after the financial crisis, when ‘retraining’ was the watchword of the day, research has demonstrated the demand-responsiveness of private for-profits.”
To read the full report, go to https://phenomenalworld.org/analysis/geography-of-higher-ed