I am the president of a highly selective private college that is actually benefiting from the de-funding of public higher education. As more and more families question the value proposition of once-stellar public institutions, we are seeing a surge in applicants whom we are unable, as a small college, to accommodate. Many of these are students from working-class families who are attracted to Macalester College by our policy of meeting the full need of every student we admit; some are students from families of means who are concerned about larger classes, fewer faculty members, and declining graduation rates at the publics.
But I am a citizen and a father even before I am a college president, and I would trade the increase in applications to my institution for more thoughtful and informed public policy at the state and federal level and for a robust system of public education from early childhood through graduate school.
About the firstname.lastname@example.org
Alex Friedrich reports on higher education issues for MPR News. Among the stories he has covered: the fall of the Berlin Wall, aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, collapse of the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis, 2003 Moscow suicide bombing and 2004 presidential elections in the Republic of Georgia. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and a master’s in European political economy from the London School of Economics.