October 9, 2012, 2:20 pm
As I read the report on the economic benefits of a four-year-college degree from Anthony Carnevale at Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, I think of the students I’ve been working with over the last few years at an urban community college that serves one of the poorest populations in Los Angeles County.
Students like them are not often the focus of current discussions of bachelor’s- and postgraduate-degree attainment, but the Carnevale report speaks directly to their hopes and aspirations. The sociologists Jennie Brand and Yu Xie demonstrate that people who are least likely to attend college because of social class are the ones who gain the most economically from a college degree. And from what I’ve been seeing, such students, in addition to better economic outcomes, also stand to gain a great deal psychologically and socially.
Sam has experienced the…