In this day and age, higher education needs to be accessible to everyone if we can reasonably expect people to participate in the labor force to the best of their abilities. Shouldn’t it be in the federal government’s best interest to help ensure this? Instead our country is in a place where people are in awe when programs like the Kalamazoo Promise or Success Boston are able to provide an affordable education, which says something about the education system we have created. The world now is a very different place than it was when universities first began (in the 6 th century AD, for the record). Higher education is no longer a luxury reserved for the elite. We need as many innovative and collaborative thinkers in the work force as possible, and I believe it is our government’s job to help make that happen.
So for now, it seems that small-scale privately funded projects like the Kalamazoo Promise truly are amazing feats to be recognized. They are doing what universities and governments have failed to do. Whether we will be able to implement strategies and principles such as are utilized in the Kalamazoo Promise and Success Boston on a national scale remains to be seen, but one thing is for certain; to continue to market education as The Great Equalizer without also offering equal opportunity for it is to break our promise.
Katharine Bohrs is a graduate of Brookline High School and a current sophomore at George Washington University. She is an intended Sociology major with a double minor in Spanish and Statistics, and hopes to use these skills to delve into a career in teaching, education research, or both. She interned with the Aspire Institute in Summer 2012.