An Examination of Rural Secondary Students' Post-Secondary Education Decisions


  • Dale Kirby Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • Dennis Sharpe Memorial University of Newfoundland


rural, youth, secondary students, post-secondary, education, decisions


Canadian post-secondary education policies are increasingly oriented toward increasing the educational participation and attainment levels of under-represented groups such as rural populations. To better understand how rural students’ post-secondary education decisions are influenced, this study utilizes logistic regression analyses in an examination of survey data from 1,169 graduating rural students at 72 rural schools across the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. We observed that rural students’ decisions to continue education at the post-secondary level are strongly influenced by academic factors, and that first-generation students and students who do not consider student loans to be a funding option for them are at a particular disadvantage. The results also suggested that the choice between university and non-university studies is significantly impacted by academic factors, gender, and after school activities, but less dependent on rural students’ sources of financial support.


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How to Cite

Kirby, D. ., & Sharpe, D. (2010). An Examination of Rural Secondary Students’ Post-Secondary Education Decisions. Canadian Journal of Career Development, 9(1), 4–14. Retrieved from