In The New Yorker (Comment, May 28, 2012), Nicholas Lemann examined the societal benefits of higher education. The dollar value of a college education is not clear for many students. However, college graduates are making eighty-four per cent more than high-school grads, and that income gap has been widening. Lots of jobs (the number is debatable) do not require a four-year college degree. Looking at the costs, there is a crisis in our national effort to make higher education universal.
In “The Mail” (June 25, 2012) professor of philosophy Howard Ruttenberg at the City University of New York observes: “We need a greater commitment to the broad intellectual development of all our citizens. Lemann is right that the cost is worth ‘the kind of society it buys.’ “