Education: College, Who Needs It?

It is clear from their cries of gloom and doom that a number of colleges and universities are endangered by falling enrollments. In fact, according to a study by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education published this week, 110,000 freshman places in four-year institutions went unfilled last fall, 24% more than the year before. Are economic circumstances the major reason for those empty seats? Not according to the author of the report, Richard Peterson, a research psychologist for the Educational Testing Service.

Far more important, Peterson argues, is a fundamental change in the...

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