In Brazil, a Liberal-Arts Experiment Brings Diversity to One Campus

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Lalo de Almeida for The Chronicle

Caroline Mello, Conrado Moraes, and Raryane Valeria thought theyd never pass the entrance exam to study at the U. of Campinas, known as Unicamp. They are now enrolled there in a program designed to prepare them for that test.

The entrance examination at the State University of Campinas is one of the toughest in Brazil, and opportunities here are so coveted that some programs have more applicants per place than Harvard.

Raryane Valeria was so sure she wouldn't pass that she never even tried. Caroline Mello tried and failed.

And yet today they, and more than 200 other graduates of this city's troubled public high schools, are sitting down to class at the university, known as Unicamp. They are