Why American colleges are failing low-income students

For many students, the U.S. system of higher education works very well. Even with rising tuition, most four-year and community colleges still offer a good — even great — deal for bright young people with the fundamental skills necessary to graduate, the National Journal reports. For others, however, our college system offers more debt than education. More than 13 percent of students who began repaying their loans in 2009 defaulted within three years, according to a recent Department of Education report. Here is a chart showing loan-default rates across different kinds of college — from two-year public colleges to four-year for-profit institutions. Overall, those institutions serving marginal and lower-income students fared the worst. The most miserable performers of all were for-profit schools, shown in green, where around one out of every five borrower defaulted…

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