Can We Have College for All?

Can We Have College for All?

Nineteen ninety nine was a tough year to be a college-bound high school senior. College admissions were more competitive than ever. “It’s kind of a college mania, with suburban schools sending 70 percent to 80 percent of their students to college,” Robert Zemsky, director of the Institute for Research on Higher Education at the University of Pennsylvania, told the New York Times. “Other routes into the workforce are withering. Vocational education has been nearly cut in half. This is the wave accompanying the globalization of the economy.”

The number of students enrolled in four-year institutions is at an all time high—14.8 million registered for this fall, up from the record 14.6 million last year (some 65.6 percent of high school graduates enrolled in college in 1998). “We have finally opened the doors of college to all Americans,” boasted President Clinton in his most recent State of the Union Address.

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Lima