Cover

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Half Title, Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-viii

We are grateful to the Smith Richardson Foundation for providing funding that made it possible for us to write this book. Senior Program Officer Mark Steinmeyer provided very helpful guidance as we developed our ideas. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation also offered support. ...

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1. Introduction

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pp. 1-14

As a nation, we are making progress in increasing the number of people from disadvantaged backgrounds who manage to enroll in some form of postsecondary education. But the results are discouraging. Many students leave school without any certificate or degree. They have lost valuable time and frequently have student debt to repay, ...

Part I: Postsecondary and Labor Market Outcomes: What Are the Problems and What Causes Them?

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2. Who Completes College and Why?

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pp. 17-55

Americans attend a wide range of colleges and universities, including two-year public colleges, four-year public and private nonprofit colleges and universities, and for-profit institutions. But too many students who start college, especially minorities and students from lower-income families, never complete credentials, ...

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3. Which College Credentials Does the Labor Market Reward?

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pp. 56-89

For many students who attend college, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds, a primary motivation is the hope of higher earnings afterward. And, on average, those who earn a college degree in the United States find themselves handsomely rewarded in the job market. ...

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4. Financial Barriers to College Success

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pp. 90-116

Rising tuition prices have captured considerable public attention in recent years. The perception that college has become unaffordable to all but the wealthy is widespread.1 But the evidence about the role of financial barriers to college enrollment, and particularly to success once students get in the door, is not so clear. ...

Part II: Programs and Policies to Improve Student Outcomes

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5. Policies and Practices Aimed at Students

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pp. 119-157

In the previous chapters, we documented the low rates of college completion, especially among disadvantaged students, and the difficulties many have earning credentials with labor market value. Rising tuition levels and student debt loads certainly deserve attention, but solving other problems is likely even more critical for improving outcomes for these students. ...

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6. Policies and Practices for Institutions

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pp. 158-191

In the previous chapter, we reviewed policies and programs targeted to individual students applying to or attending college. In this chapter we consider major structural changes and new practices that postsecondary institutions could undertake to improve the success rates of disadvantaged students, especially those seeking occupational preparation. ...

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7. Alternative Pathways to Skills and Higher Earnings

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pp. 192-212

Completion rates at U.S. colleges are disturbingly low. They are particularly low for students from disadvantaged backgrounds and for those who enroll at nonselective postsecondary institutions. Students with weak academic preparation are frequently assigned to noncredit developmental education courses, ...

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8. Conclusion and Policy Implications

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pp. 213-232

This book lays out the central challenges facing disadvantaged students who enroll in college. Many of these students fail to complete any postsecondary credential. Many of the credentials they obtain lack significant labor market value. In addition, many students pay high tuition rates and go into debt, ...

Appendix: Mapping CIP Categories with Chapter 2 Categories

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pp. 233-234

References

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pp. 235-262

Index

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pp. 263-270

Back Cover

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