Thursday, November 23, 2006

engines of inequality

Students in one of my classes were asking me about my college experience, and how it was when I was a high school student applying to college. The situtation is so ridiculous now, so fraught with tension and anxiety. And the private school kids have it easy. Public school students face an increasingly difficult task, and in the end many cannot afford to go to college at all. Tuition and associated costs have risen far faster than the inflation rate, even though the elite school have no actual need to charge more. Their endowments have grown to astronomical proportions. So I told them how going to Vassar really did change my life, and that I was very lucky to have been pushed in that direction by my guidance counselor in my oh-so-mediocre high school. But I don't know if a student like me in a high school like that which I attended could even have the same chance today.

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