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Dr. Julianne Malveaux: Too Many in College?

by on December 1, 2009

by Dr. Julianne Malveaux

A week or so ago, I had the privilege of participating in a conversation on NPR about college attendance. Sparked by a conversation in the Chronicle of Higher Education, a group of "experts" were opining that too many people are going to college. Too many? Conservative and racially biased Charles Murray (author of The Bell Curve) thinks that too few high school students have the cognition to successfully navigate college attendance. Marty Nemko says it is a cost-benefit thing. Sandy Baum says that everyone should have opportunity and access. Nobody mentions race, but I think it is the elephant in the room. Too many white folks are opining that too many people go to college, but their kids are in college. So do they really mean that too many black folks go to college? Are their objections really about reinforcing a class system?

Here is what we know about the benefits that come from college attendance:

·College graduates have lower unemployment rates than those who did not graduate from college.

·College graduates have higher lifetime earning than those who did not graduate from college.

·College graduates are more likely to vote, and to be civically involved than those who did not graduate from college.

·College graduates are more likely to contribute to philanthropic causes and to volunteer than those who did not graduate from college.

Click to read more.

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