American higher education: ever more unequal

by VanessaVaile

not the lone, long overdue post of doom in the wilderness — I’m just behind in sharing but will catch up. Blame on the groundhog.

Bryan Alexander

The report I want to discuss begins by grabbing our lapels, like this:

"Give em Hell, Harry" buttonIn 1947…  Harry S. Truman warned in a report of his Commission on Higher Education, “If the ladder of educational opportunity rises high at the doors of some youth and scarcely rises at the doors of others, while at the same time formal education is made a prerequisite to occupational and social advance, then education may become the means, not of eliminating race and class distinctions, but of deepening and solidifying them.”
Now over 60 years later – well into the 21st century – these words read as an eerie foreshadowing to the state of higher education in the United States today.

That’s how the Pell Institute opens its new report on higher education equity (pdf).  Pell assembled 45 years of data, and their conclusions? Family income strongly drives access to higher education, and more so than ever before.


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