The recent 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education has resulted in a number of retrospective studies on the question of equal and open access to various levels of education, including the contentious issue of access to higher education. Tied in with an increased interest in the subject of access to higher education are a number of other noteworthy (and potentially ominous) developments, including the retrenchment of state support for public universities and the dramatically rising cost of attending both public and private universities and colleges. A recent report from the National Center for Education Statistics also indicated that the share of full-time college students who borrowed to pay for college rose from 30 percent in 1990 to 45 percent in 2000. The same report also noted that while outright grants to students in college increased over the decade, these increases were not enough to cover jumps in tuition and fees, which outpaced rises in inflation and family income during the same time period.The first link will lead visitors to a news article from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer that offers a brief exposition of the report on the increasing costs associated with attending college. The second link leads to a piece from the Grand Forks Herald about what the changes to the federal student aid program would mean for various colleges and universities throughout Minnesota and, by extension, across the entire United States. The third link will take users to a recent news report from the Sacramento Bee that documents a recent tour of several campuses of the University of California system designed to protest the proposed cuts to the state's system suggested by Governor Schwarzenegger. The fourth link leads to a well-written piece from Anya Kamenetz (writing for the Village Voice) that discusses the plight of young people in the United States, and their attempts to coalesce into a political bloc around certain crucial issues, including the retrenchment of financial support to universities. The fifth link leads to a fine page on higher education offered by the National Education Association. Here visitors can read up-to-date reports on various aspects of higher education, learn about essay contests sponsored by the NEA, and read about the Higher Education Act. The final link leads to the Condition of Education 2004 website (sponsored and created by the National Center for Education Statistics), which conveys information on 38 indicators that cover all aspects of U.S. education, such as enrollment trends, education financing, degree attainment, and dropout rates.


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