College Castes

In an article last week on School Board News Today entitled “The New College ‘Caste System’–and How We Might Change It,” Lawrence Hardy writes:

At a Washington, D.C., forum this week called “2013 College Rankings and Higher Education’s New Caste System,” a Texas college president, journalists from the Washington Monthly and elsewhere, and a key Obama administration aide, among others, talked about the need for more colleges like Berea [College in Kentucky, a small college dedicated to serving Appalachian communities].

Unfortunately, the trend is in the other direction, with colleges and universities becoming what Washington Monthly Editor-in-Chief Paul Glastris called “drivers of inequality.”

Hence the so-called “caste” system in higher education, where strong middle- and upper-class students go to top private colleges, and, increasingly, money-conscious state universities, and low-income students go to low-cost open access or community colleges — or to no college at all.

Like the rest of our country, the divide between the elite and the rest in higher education is growing. And no one seems to want to do anything about it. And Obama’s new ‘plans’ for higher education? Nah, they’ll just help it along.

Your comments are welcome. They must be relevant to the topic at hand and must not contain advertisements, degrade others, or violate laws or considerations of privacy. We encourage the use of your real name, but do not prohibit pseudonyms as long as you don’t impersonate a real person.