rootEd Alliance launched in 2018 to improve postsecondary outcomes for students in rural America, partnering with local and national organizations working to meaningfully provide advice, exposure and access to financial resources, so that all students in rural areas and towns can pursue their dreams. rootEd’s work spans several states, and the Thoma Foundation’s $300,000 grant is directed toward rootEd’s Texas expansion.
While recent data show a national decline in college enrollment due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the rootEd model continues to make a significant difference in the lives of rural students, with rootEd students enrolling and persisting in college at rates significantly higher than national averages. As of Q1 2022:
- Postsecondary enrollment in rootEd schools has increased by 7%, compared with a national decline in postsecondary enrollment of 9%
- rootEd students are staying in and persisting through college at a rate up to 10 percentage points higher than their peers
- 25% of rootEd’s college-bound students say they would not be going to college without having had the support of their rootEd advisor