Colleges: Miles's Mileage

Gun-toting guards patrol Miles College in Birmingham, but there is not much to protect. The plant is shabby, the school lacks accreditation, its 810 students can barely swing the $420 tuition. The president looks ruefully at a sprinkler outside his window and says: "I'm going to have to turn that off. I like to see the grass grow, but I have to watch the water bill."

Yet what the guards are protecting is the pride of Birmingham Negroes. Miles is the only four-year college available to most of the 2,000 youngsters who graduate each year from the area's 17 Negro...

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