New data reveal that our country risks falling behind in a global race -- the competition for innovation and, above all else, talent -- unless actions are taken now to significantly increase postsecondary attainment.
Economic diversity at most top universities remains low. But the conversation on this issue is often one-sided, focused narrowly on why there aren't more low- and middle-income students enrolled. Equally troubling is what happens to these students when they manage to get in the door.
A recent study by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, funded by The Lumina Foundation, reveals that over the past two decades, more than have enrolled in college without obtaining a degree or certificate.
If institutions sacrifice quality to decrease costs, they will decrease their potential to attract and retain students. In the long run, sacrificing quality to increase affordability just won't work. We have to increase affordability in other ways.