Key Points

Although students living in rural areas perform academically on par with their peers, they are less likely to complete a postsecondary credential due to geographic, economic, and other barriers. Greater Texas Foundation, a private grantmaker focused on postsecondary student success in Texas, fosters rural collaborations as part of its philanthropic strategy.

This article reflects on lessons learned by foundation staff from this strand of work. It describes innovative models for postsecondary support developed by the foundation’s rural partners, discusses the need to balance direct program support and capacity building, and emphasizes the importance of visiting rural communities in person.

To conclude, the article suggests several ways funders can deepen their engagement with the rural communities they serve.

Open Access