College Is Making Inequality Worse–Potentially, a Terribly Misleading Headline

ACADEME BLOG

On Saturday, Salon ran a terrific article by Suzanne Mettler with this headline: “More Bad News for Millennials: College Is Actually Making Inequality Worse” [http://www.salon.com/2014/03/15/more_bad_news_for_millennials_college_is_actually_making_inequality_worse/].

Given the current attention to the issue of income inequality, the headline does a disservice to what is actually a very complex analysis of the economic impact of enrollment and degree-completion rates.

More specifically, the headline seems to locate this article in the middle of the growing debate on the value of a college degree. On the one hand, there has been a chorus of voices pointing to the employment and income advantages of those holding college degrees at every level, from associates to professional degrees and, therefore, calling for dramatic increases in enrollment as an economic necessity. On the other hand, there has been a competing chorus of voices pointing to the increasingly high debt accrued by college graduates and the…

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