From The Washington Post, Moody’s has downgraded dozens of universities over the last year: In credit ratings for colleges and universities, the downgrades far outnumber the upgrades; does Uncle Sam make money lending to students? Max Ehrenfreund investigates; and Colman McCarthy on how adjunct professors fight for crumbs on campus. John Quiggin on how discussion of the various crises in American higher education seems like a mass of irreconcilable contradictions. Tressie McMillan Cottom on the university and the company man: “What if the crisis in higher education is related to the broader failures that have left so many workers struggling?” Rich students complete their college degrees; working-class students like Vanessa Brewer usually don’t — can the University of Texas change her chances of success? Generation later, poor are still rare at elite colleges. The “1 percent” isn’t America’s biggest source of inequality — college is. Henry Farrell interviews Suzanne Mettler, author of Degrees of Inequality: How the Politics of Higher Education Sabotaged the American Dream (and more). Peter N. Kirstein reviews Why Public Higher Education Should be Free: How to Decrease Cost and Increase Quality at American Universities by Robert Samuels. Welcome to the Washington Monthly College Guide and Rankings; unlike U.S. News and World Report and similar guides, this one asks not what colleges can do for you, but what colleges are doing for the country. Nationalize the Ivy League: Chris Lehmann on why we need to go further than the meritocratic reforms proposed by William Deresiewicz. Are elite colleges bad for the soul? Nathan Heller reviews Excellent Sheep by William Deresiewicz. My fantasy commencement address: Michael R. Strain on things we never tell 22-year-olds — but should.

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