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ERIC Number: ED513526
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Oct-13
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
The "Bottom" Seventy Percent: What America's Elite Institutions of Higher Learning Owe to Everyone Else. WISCAPE Viewpoints
Carey, Kevin
Wisconsin Center for the Advancement of Postsecondary Education (NJ1)
For the disproportionately well-off students who attend reasonably selective public and private institutions--roughly, the top 30%--life is good. Their colleges are well-resourced and so are they. They'll most likely graduate and go onto the substantial rewards society offers to those with a college degree. For everyone else--the bottom 70%--the story is quite different. These are students who are more likely to be low-income, part-time, first-generation, working parents, immigrants, people of color. Students who have the biggest educational needs; and yet, they are funneled systematically into institutions with the fewest resources, crumbling colleges where the promise of mobility is a mirage. The author opines that is time to stop thinking of higher education institutions like so many palaces, isolated and magnificent, focused on keeping the undeserving away. The author asks institutions to be generous to the newer and less wealthy institutions that came after them. They should open to their students, be mindful of their needs. And be creative when it comes to gauging the potential of great institutions of higher learning to spread the knowledge they create. Only by subordinating some of their self-interest, institutions adopting a kind of "post-palatial" way of thinking, and embracing the interests of all institutions--including the students within them and the students who aren't within them at all--will America's elite institutions be able to live up to the historic ideals that have done so much to make this nation it is today. (Contains 2 notes.)
Wisconsin Center for the Advancement of Postsecondary Education. University of Wisconsin-Madison, 326 Lathrop Hall, 1050 University Avenue, Madison, WI 53706-1386. Tel: 608-265-6342; Fax: 608-262-4881; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wisconsin Center for the Advancement of Postsecondary Education