Students: Working-Class Collegians: The True Believers

While thousands of U.S. collegians are busily rejecting the values of their affluent parents, hardly anyone recalls that quaint figure, the poor youth struggling to become his family's first college graduate. In fact, he is still very much around. If his voice is rarely heard, it is because he still believes in the old U.S. idea that education is salvation —a notion that consumes his energy and compels him to work, work, work.

The increased availability of scholarships, student loans and work-study programs has drawn more children of working-class families to college than ever before. While they predominate at "commuter...

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