By LAURA PAPPANO
January 31, 2017
Young people from remote parts of the country face special challenges in furthering their education (“Colleges Discover the Rural Student”). Many are low income and first in their families to attend college. Universities can be big and distant, and scary: Are the students smarter? Are their values the same? Six students talked about their choices.
From the moment he saw the red Wolfpack logo, John Dunn hungered to enroll at North Carolina State. Born into a family troubled by drugs and poverty in Rose Hill, N.C. (pop. 1,600), he is the first of them to finish high school. Heading to a campus of 34,000 this past fall required courage. “I was nervous,” he said. “I didn’t want them to look at me and see the country boy and think, ‘Oh, he’s just a redneck. He doesn’t know how to spell, doesn’t know how to read.’” Having done farm work since childhood, he was also self-conscious about his appearance. “I wasn’t raised clean,” he said.
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