John Dunn, age 19, is currently a freshman at NC State University and is the first person in his family to go to college. With a combination of grants, loans, help from his grandfather and weekend farm work, Dunn hopes to find finish college and find a career in agriculture.

Colleges and universities, which are always trying to pinpoint an under-served and sometimes underprivileged populations of students, have noted a decline in students from rural areas of the country. There...
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