Giving Compass' Take:

• Lack of access to universities and sufficient internet access for online classes is keeping many Americans from higher education. 

• How can existing schools attract more rural students in higher education deserts? How can rural broadband programs increase the number of degrees in rural areas? 

• Find out why we haven't been able to get rural America online

Distance and technology hinder the college aspirations of a surprising number of rural Americans. About 3 million adults live more than 25 miles from a college or university and lack the sufficient internet speeds to take online courses, the Urban Institute reported in February.

While that’s only 1.3 percent of the nation’s population, nearly 12 percent of Native Americans and indigenous Alaskans live in these so-called education deserts, the institute found.

That makes them 16 percentage points less likely to attend college than Americans who live close to college campuses, and even less likely to complete it — 18 percentage points.

Researchers have suggested that four-year colleges work with community colleges to offer bachelor’s degrees on campuses close to education deserts, and that the federal government do more to extend broadband internet access to rural communities.

Read the full article on higher education deserts by Matt Krupnick at The Hechinger Report.