Stillwater News Press

Our World

September 13, 2012

In U.S., college less likely for children of less-schooled parents

The United States has long touted its record of sending disadvantaged children to college. That pride is misplaced, a study now finds.

The odds that a young person in the U.S. will go to college if their parents haven't — 29 percent — are among the lowest of developed countries, according to a report released Tuesday by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development.

The results indicated the challenge of one of President Obama's economic and educational goals: increasing college attainment in the U.S. relative to other countries. The U.S. ranks 14th among 37 countries in the percentage of 25- to 34-year-olds with higher education. A generation ago, the U.S. ranked among the top in the world.

"The odds that a young person will be in higher education if his or her family has a low level of education are particularly small in the U.S.," the report said.

Declining economic mobility in the U.S. has been the subject of social science research that challenges a mainstay of the American dream, that of children achieving more that their parents. The issue, particularly for the middle class, lies at the heart of this year's presidential campaign between Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

In the study, the U.S. ranked below all countries except Canada and New Zealand in sending the children of less educated parents to four-year colleges.

The evidence suggests a culprit: inequity among elementary and high school students, such as the concentration of immigrants and other disadvantaged citizens in lower-quality schools, according to Andreas Schleicher, the international organization's deputy director for education.

Rising college tuition doesn't seem to account for the difference, though U.S. student-loan levels could, Schleicher said in a briefing with reporters. Higher education debt has reached $1 trillion, raising alarm among families.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Our World
Must Read
Buy & Share Photos
NewsPress e-Edition
NewsPress Specials
AP Video
Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands
Stocks
NDN Video
Bill Murray Continues To Be Just Bill Murray By Eating Some Free Bill Murray Ice Cream Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl