What’s harder to get into than Harvard? Some overstretched community colleges

On or about April 1st, it’s impossible not to see a flurry of stories about how, once again, it’s getting harder than ever to get accepted to Harvard University and other Ivy League and elite schools. After all,  those are the schools that most Americans attend, right?

Not even close, which is one reason why The Hechinger Report is heartened by the increased coverage given to community colleges in the U.S., which educate at least half of all U.S. students. The strained resources of public colleges and the financial crisis have meant more and more students are turning to their local community colleges.  In addition, laid-off workers look to the schools for retraining and to start new professions.

All over California and in many states, community colleges have had to cap or limit enrollments because they are simply out of space.

So while headlines proclaim that it’s harder than ever to get into Harvard, keep in mind that getting a far cheaper, less elite education is also more elusive and can be fraught with obstacles, even as President Barack Obama is pushing degree completion.

— Liz Willen

POSTED BY ON April 1, 2010