Does college still work? Is the system designed just to protect the privileged and leave everyone else behind? Or can a college education today provide real opportunity to young Americans seeking to improve their station in life? The bestselling author of "How Children Succeed" returns with an inquiry into higher education in the U.S.
Tough shows how higher education does not ameliorate the inequities of K-12. It magnifies them. Tough rests his case on research, but it’s the people in his drama who will stay with you ... Some of the imbalances Tough describes are simply breathtaking ... The apparent weakness of this book is its forgettable title; the content, however, is indelible and extraordinary, a powerful reckoning with just how far we’ve allowed reality to drift from our ideals.
... a lively, lucid, often eye-opening deep-dive into the causes and consequences of the demographic disparities in our colleges and universities—and how they might best be addressed ... At a time in which about 40% of young adults believe that an undergraduate degree is not worth the cost, Mr. Tough demonstrates that the wage gap between college graduates and those without a degree is as high in the United States as it has ever been.
... what makes the author’s exploration of elite schools intriguing is the class analysis he brings to his discussion of who is admitted to the top schools and how they do once they get there ... The book is fueled by anecdotal evidence, putting readers in the shoes of students navigating the cultural disruptions and emotionally wrenching times that attend social mobility ... Thankfully, the author includes inspiring anecdotes about low-income students, which lightens the mostly bleak-looking landscape. Though offering little groundbreaking news, Tough clearly shows that college placement remains mostly about wealth at the expense of a collective educational environment ... A good choice for aspiring college students and their parents.