University of Iowa Joins National Network Aimed at Rural Students

by Brian Wilson
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The University of Iowa is joining 15 of the nation’s most prominent universities in a new effort to help students from rural areas enroll — and succeed — in college. Brent Gage, in the U-I’s enrollment management office, says the STARS College Network, (Small-Town And Rural Students), will strive to create new pathways to higher education for students who might not otherwise recognize the full range of opportunities available to them.    

The network includes Brown University, Cal Tech, U-S-C, Northwestern, Vanderbilt, Columbia, Yale and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Gage says the nationwide program is designed to empower students to find the best institution for them, whether or not they ultimately choose to enroll at Iowa.

The U-I will be working with guidance counselors, principals and other administrators in high schools across Iowa to get the word out. Gage says it’s the university’s mission to open new doors for students throughout the state.

One element of the program will bring students from rural communities to campus over summer break to help them prepare academically and for college life. All programming is free to students who register with STARS. Learn more at

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