Title Page

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Copyright

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Contents

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About the Authors

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pp. vii-viii

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1. Introduction

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pp. 1-13

IT IS well known that students from less economically privileged families face considerable barriers to entering and completing college. There is also little doubt that postsecondary education is one of the most important indicators of future labor market success and therefore...

Part I: External Factors

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2. Access, Matriculation, and Graduation

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pp. 17-43

THE NATION’S higher education system—its colleges and universities—serve several functions. They house the nation’s most highly trained research teams in the nation’s most advanced facilities. They are the source of much of the nation’s technological advance,...

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3. Secondary and Postsecondary Linkages

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pp. 44-65

INTERSPERSED WITH end-of-school-year and graduation news items, a spate of stories appear in national and local newspapers each year about stressed-out students and parents, competitive college admissions, a high school wall filled with college-rejection letters, the...

Part II: The Role of Institutions

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4. Remedial and Developmental Courses

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pp. 69-100

ACADEMIC PREPARATION is an important predictor of success in college. Numerous studies link the types of courses students take in high school to their performance in higher education. Clifford Adelman (1999), for example, provides a detailed study of college access and degree...

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5. Community Colleges

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pp. 101-127

THE EVIDENCE that higher education is a key to economic advancement is uncontested. Relative to those who fail to attain a college diploma, graduates of four-year colleges1 tend to be significantly more successful in the labor market. In 2004, for instance, the annual average...

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6. Access to Elites

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pp. 128-156

STUDENTS FROM relatively low-income families are persistently underrepresented in the most selective institutions of higher education (see, for example, Bowen, Kurzweil, and Tobin 2005). This is true among the most expensive private colleges and universities as well as many...

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7. Costs and Implications

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pp. 157-184

FEW ISSUES ignite the discussion of higher education in America today more consistently and explosively than the escalating cost of attending college. Parents and students, educators, policy makers, and politicians spanning a wide political and socioeconomic spectrum worry...

Part III: Looking to the Future

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8. Reducing Inequality in Higher Education

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pp. 187-201

AS ROBERT Haveman and Kathryn Wilson point out in chapter 2, differences in college enrollment rates across students from families of different socioeconomic levels have only marginally narrowed since the early 1970s (Baum and Payea 2004, figure 21). ...

Index

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pp. 203-213