Like Australia, the UK offers its own lessons in boosting college access
- The United Kingdom has transitioned from a virtually free system of higher education to relatively modest costs for tuition and room and board at universities in recent years.
- Educational access has increased for low-income students, because schools increase recruitment and retention systems for these students to reap the benefits of tuition revenue from loans and grants.
- The Atlantic points out the United States lags severely behind the U.K. in terms of access for poor students: Gaps between the rich and poor attending and graduating from U.S. colleges in six years have increased by 20% since 1970.
Government intervention is the only way to achieve parity between racial, social and economic dividers in the United States. But that intervention cannot begin and end with policies that punish schools for increased attention to the needs of low-income students, without offering financial support to institutions that must deal with some of the casualties of admission for these students.
State and federal government must commit the necessary resources to strengthen remedial instruction and support services or face the possibility of creating an Ivy League-or-bust mentality for schools to recruit students least likely to fail or drop out — affluent students with high test scores. As other nations gain ground on the U.S. in the recruitment of international students, the imperative to welcome more diverse groups of domestic students becomes much more critical.
- The Atlantic Why are more poor kids going to college in the U.K.?