Higher Ed Status Quo Hurts Low-Income Americans Most

Empty College Classrooms

Recently, the U.S. Department of Education announced that for the first time in 15 years, enrollment in higher education has declined. While some of this decline undoubtedly has to do with an improving economy, much of the blame for the dip in college-going can be linked to backwards, regressive policies and practices that continue to plague higher ed.

It’s particularly easy to see when you break down the numbers. While private, nonprofit institutions actually saw a slight increase in students, both the public and the for-profit sector lost ground. There was also a steep decline in students pursuing a credential or a two-year degree. When you consider the typical profile of people who attend those types of institutions, it’s fairly likely that the enrollment losses come from low-income students, who also happen to be the exact people who need education the most.

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