The $6 Solution

Getting needy students with great grades to apply to elite colleges won’t fix higher education. So why is everyone talking about it?

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Mark Wilson, Getty Images

Troy Simon, a student at Bard College who was homeless as a child, is greeted by President Obama at a White House summit on college access in January.

A White House summit on college opportunity in January featured more than one Cinderella story. A young man named Troy Simon told the invited group of educators and advocates how he lived for a year in an abandoned building in New Orleans and did not learn to read until he was 14, but made his way to Bard College, where he was a sophomore studying American literature. He introduced Michelle Obama, whose journey from her modest Chicago neighborhood to Princeton