Scholarships are important tools for combating inequality

In this op-ed, Hilary Pennington discusses the promise of higher education, and the role of scholarships in combating inequality.

Published in U.S. News & World Report | September 12, 2016
Scholarships are important tools for combating inequality
By Hilary Pennington

Education has long been called the "great equalizer" in helping families and individuals attain the American dream. But it's become increasingly harder to ignore deepening inequality within our higher education system.

Due to a variety of factors—the rising cost of college, cuts to government funding and limited or subpar early education opportunities for many, especially children of color—the makeup of colleges and universities today is becoming richer, whiter and more privileged. This trend reinforces and perpetuates widening inequality in our society, our economy, and our politics as university graduates increasingly earn more and have more opportunities than their non-degree counterparts.

Simply put, higher education is both a reflection of and contributor to the growing chasm between the rich and poor, whites and blacks, English-speakers and non-English speakers, and so on.

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