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Episode Info: Does college have a greater impact on the lives we lead than we ever imagined? Is college still a tool for upward mobility or is the system engineered to advance the wealthy? Paul Tough, author of the book, The Years that Matter Most: How College Makes or Breaks Us, answers this question and more. For example, he explains differences in how many rich and poor students choose their colleges and how those choices impact lifetime earnings. He also discusses how financial aid really works: “College wants us to think that financial aid is this very linear process where colleges decide who they want to admit, and then they give them the aid that they need and it’s a very straightforward process….But that’s not true.” Though he discusses how the system of higher education is broken, he also offers insights on how to fix it. He explains that a hundred years ago, the U.S. government saw how technological advances made it necessary for young people to have a high school education to compete for jobs. They tackled that problem by creating a system of free, public high schools. Paul sees parallels today: “Clearly a high school degree is not enough to compete in the current labor marketplace….Kids need more education. But we have not … pulled together to say well we’re going to solve that problem. Instead we’re saying to these young people, you’re on your own.” Paul is a contributing writer to New York Times Magazine where he’s written extensively about parenting, education, poverty, and politics. His writing has also appeared in the New Yorker, the Atlantic, Esquire, and on the op-ed page of the New York Times. Paul’s previous books include: Helping Children Succeed: What Works and Why, and How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character. The Host You can learn more about Curious Minds Host and Creator, Gayle Allen, and Producer, Rob Mancabelli, by visiting @CuriousGayle and Episode Links @paultough Raj Chetty and article about him: The Economist Who Would Fix the American Dream Caroline Hoxby and articles on her work: The College Board Tried a Simple, Cheap, Research-Backed Way to Push Low-Income Kids into Better Colleges. It Didn’t Work and The Nudges That Didn’t Work Anthony A. Jack and his book: The Privileged Poor: How Elite Colleges are Failing Disadvantaged Students Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado Perez David Laude and his interventions to support college students at the University of Texas The High School Movement in the U.S. Simple Ways to Support the Podcast If you enjoy the podcast, there are three simple ways you can support our work. First, subscribe so you’ll never miss an episode. Second, tell a friend or family member. You’ll always have someone to talk to about the interview. Third, rate and review the podcast wherever you subscribe. You’ll be helping listeners find their ne...
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