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The economic implications of not cultivating our top low-income students


The furor over student debt in this country takes aim at a noble cause — quality education at a good price — but obscures an even nobler cause, which is getting more students to take on more debt to obtain more skills in a modern economy that doesn’t pay living wages to uneducated workers, the Atlantic/National Journal reports. Seen in this light, the single most important issue in higher education isn’t cost, it’s really something more like advertising. If we want students from disadvantaged areas to attend good colleges and obtain modern skills, we should be thinking about ways to entice them, not scare them with blaring headlines: “six figures in debt and unemployed at 22.” There’s a quieter, more lower-case crisis that is potentially even more dangerous for the economy: Smart, low-income students who never consider applying to our best colleges — even though the education would both cost less and lead to higher-paying jobs…

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