Education: Self-Made College

The campus is two floors of an old federal office building in downtown Manhattan. Most of the 142 students are poor black or Puerto Rican women with children. All are over 21, and some are in their 50s. Only half finished high school; half are on welfare when they matriculate. Few U.S. colleges would accept or could afford such students. Yet the tuition-free College for Human Services pays them $2.10 an hour to swallow a massive dose of social sciences and earn a two-year Associate in Arts degree that is recognized anywhere in the...

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