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Viewpoint: Nicholas Lemann

From The New Yorker: “College costs so much because people are paying for unstated social goals....

“College costs so much because people are paying for unstated social goals. Price is determined by what people are willing to pay, and the top 25 or so schools in the country could charge even more than they do. The number of applications to those schools continues to grow faster than their cost. (Ivy League colleges will charge about $60,000 next year.) That’s because the perceived value of their degrees continues to rise. Now that we know that either Obama or Romney will be president next year, we also know that, from 1989 through at least 2017, every president of the United States will have had a degree from either Harvard or Yale or, in the case of George W. Bush, both. The U.S. may be on its way to becoming more like the rest of the world, with a small group of schools controlling access to life membership in the elite.”Nicholas Lemann in The New Yorker 

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