The Barriers to Mobility
Photo: Jason Greenberg
Karin Fischer, The Chronicle of Higher Education
For generations of Americans, higher education was a ladder—study hard and you could climb into the middle class.
Today, however, the ladder is rickety. Some of the rungs are missing; others are splintered and weak. Too often people can’t gain even the first toehold. And if they do, they can easily lose their footing, leaving them saddled with student debt but no degree. For those from wealthy families who start near the ladder’s top, the ascent is surer, but for the many who must begin at the bottom, it can be tough to scramble up.
Some colleges are trying to change that scenario.