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The Unsustainable American State$
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Lawrence Jacobs and Desmond King

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195392135

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195392135.001.0001

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Promoting Inequality

Promoting Inequality

The Politics of Higher Education Policy in an Era of Conservative Governance

(p.197) 8 Promoting Inequality
The Unsustainable American State

Suzanne Mettler

Oxford University Press

In previous times, the United States has been considered as a state that gives utmost priority to higher education. As seen in the history of education in the United States, governmental efforts to expand opportunities for college attendance is key to providing channels for upward mobility, thus, lessening the scope and impact of economic inequality. However, recent studies have shown that this priority of promoting higher education has decreased over time. This chapter aims to explain why the United States has experienced such a departure. It emphasizes how policies created at earlier junctures foster new political dynamics. It also explains how higher education policies promoted development regarding key interest groups such as lenders. However, these same policies failed to mobilize ordinary citizens, this includes students, and families who hoped to send their children to college.

Keywords:   United States, higher education policy, lenders, state, economic inequality, college attendance

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