AMERICAN NOTES: The High Cost of Learning

Terrel H. Bell, 54, had a problem familiar to many Americans: even with a handsome salary ($37,800), he was not going to be able to put all his children through college. Bell's eldest son will enter the University of Utah in September (room, board and tuition: $2,700); two other sons will soon follow.

With that in mind, Bell candidly wrote his boss, Health, Education and Welfare Secretary David Matthews, that even with just one son in college, there was "no way I can support him from my present position." And so Terrel Bell submitted his resignation, effective Aug. 1, as...

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