Higher Education for the Public GoodOctober 27, 2016 |
by Lynn Pasquerella
The ideal of higher education as a public good — once inextricably linked to the American Dream — has been all but abandoned in favor of the college degree as a private commodity. The narrow focus on earning power, coinciding with demographic shifts in the number and diversity of college students, has fueled the understanding of college as a purely private benefit rather than a good for all.
Our colleges should instead be seen as a means of strengthening our democracy as well as bolstering our nation’s economy. The next president should work with leaders in higher education to reclaim the mission of higher education, which should allow us to pinpoint the costly factors that are driving up prices and crowding out under-served student populations.