College Savings: Big-Sky Style!

University of Montana photo by Wesley Fryer. Shared via Creative Commons.

In today’s uncertain and competitive economy, a college degree is increasingly considered a must-have to get a decent-paying job. Rural residents are less likely than city dwellers to have a college degree. And this is especially true for residents of chronically poor rural communities, a study by the Carsey Institute at the University of New […]

Drive it Down! The High Cost of Auto Insurance for Rural Families

Owning a safe, reliable, efficient and affordable car can help a low-income rural family move from surviving to thriving. Research by the Carsey Institute shows that a good car not only increases a family’s access to jobs, health care, and nutritious food, it can also reduce household expenses and improve a family’s financial outlook. But […]

Making Communities Welcoming: New Faces in Rural Places

We want our families and communities to thrive, and, in order for rural places to succeed, rural communities need to be places that families want to live. One good sign that rural communities continue to be attractive places to live is that many new families are settling down in rural counties, according to recently released […]

Estimated Net New Hispanic Rural/Mixed-Rural Residents by State*

Increasingly, rural America’s new neighbors are Hispanic/Latino. While only a small percentage of Americans living in rural and mixed-rural counties are Hispanic – 12% – they make up a large number of new families moving and being born in rural places. One-in-two of America’s new rural neighbors are Hispanic. Put differently, that is 1.5 million […]

RuFES Resolution: Save Strong All Year Long!

The new year is now well underway, but families and communities everywhere are still setting goals for what they hope to accomplish in 2013. We here at RuFES have set the bar high once again, as we continue to work toward all 28 of our family-focused goals to help hard-working rural families get ahead in […]

Connecting Youth to Future Economic Success

Percent of Disconnected Youth by County Type, 2006-2010

On December 1, 2012, the Annie E. Casey Foundation released a report drawing attention to the 6.5 million “disconnected youth” in America — young people ages 16 to 24 who are both unemployed and not in school. This population of young people is a serious concern in communities across the country. Youth who lack job skills and early work […]

Ready… Set… Tax Prep! Prepare to Run a First-Rate Rural EITC Program

The EITC, in place since 1975, continues to play an important role in providing critical financial resources to hard-working low-income families across the U.S. In 2013, working families filing for the EITC (for the 2012 tax year) will be able to receive up to $5,891, a significant boost for families who are trying not only […]

Broaden Your Rural EITC Scope — RuFES Webinar Mini-Series

The EITC continues to serve as a critical support for low-and moderate-income families trying to get ahead, by providing them with a much needed a financial infusion. This support assists families in a number of ways, including to help pay off critical bills, get an IDA, purchase U.S. Savings Bonds, and much more. The following […]

Fortify Your Financial Toolbox with

For many members in the RuFES Action Network, the ability to access appropriate and useful financial tools can help them do what they do better and at a greater scale. Effective financial training, tools and resources assist organizations in achieving Keep It and Grow It goals in their communities. is a relatively new resource for […]

Car Repair and Car Donation Programs as an Earn It Strategy

Access to reliable transportation is an essential part of holding a good job or getting to a job-training program. Yet for some low- and moderate-income families, this basic Earn It component can be a challenge. The ideal option for any rural working family is to own a new or late-model car. These vehicles are the […]

RuFES is a project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group.
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