The college ladder is broken

College is supposed to be a ladder to the middle class, but it’s not working very well that way, writes New York Times columnist Frank Bruni. After watching a new documentary, Ivory Tower. he’s worried about social mobility.

“The good news is that more and more kids are going to college,” said Anthony Carnevale, the director of Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce. “The bad news is that higher education is becoming more and more stratified.”

. . .  since 1994, 80 percent of the white young men and women in this country who have headed off to college have gone to schools ranked in the top 500 by Barron’s. But 75 percent of the black and Latino young men and women who have entered college over the same period have gone to two-year or open-admissions schools outside the top 500.

Graduation rates are low at unselective four-year colleges and community colleges.

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  1. There is a massive over-supply of people with college degrees compared to the number of jobs which actually require a college degree. So we need more college graduates like we need a hole in the head.

  2. Deirdre Mundy says:

    Could this be another correlation/causation issue? Maybe, like Latin, Algebra in 8th grade, AP courses, etc., college correlated strongly w/ success when only successful people went to college? And now that we’re trying for ‘college for all’ it’s no longer as strong a correlation?

  3. Eric Brown says: