New rankings tackle old problem: Measuring the outcome of college


A scene at Baruch College in New York. (Carlo Allegri/REUTERS) Some 20 years ago, I spent my summer in Washington, D.C., as an intern for the U.S. News & World Report college rankings. Part of my job was to call colleges to get missing data that was used to compile the rankings or confirm the data that the magazine already had from the school. Princeton University ended up No. 1 in the rankings that year. Last year, Princeton was No. 1. In other words, not much has changed in two decades. The top of the list has remained relatively […]

$330,000 in financial aid bought me a slot in the American meritocracy. Now I see its flaws.


Over the past seven years, I received more than $330,000 of need-based educational financial aid. It has taken me from middle-class Ohio to two of the most elite institutions in American education, giving me a permanent marker of upper-class status and a near guarantee of material comfort.

I grew up attending public schools in Iowa and Ohio until increasing frustration with my schooling led my family and me to reply to a flier about boarding schools. Up until then, I believed boarding schools only existed in England; I had never heard of “Exeter” or “Andover.” I applied to four schools […]

The fading American dream: Economic mobility has nearly halved since 1940

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Credit: Carla Schaffer / AAAS The probability for children to attain a higher income than their parents has dropped dramatically – from more than 90% for children born in 1940 to 50% for children born in the 1980s – according to a new study analyzing U.S. data. Results reveal that restoring economic mobility would require, in part, more equal economic redistribution. The "American Dream" promises that hard work and opportunity will lead to a better life, and that even those born to low-income families can "rise above the ranks" with sufficient effort. Despite much interest in economic mobility, however, […]

Persistent redlining and employment discrimination have hurt black Americans’ chance at wealth

NEW YORK - AUGUST 17:  Pedestrians walk past a discount store and a closed shopfront in the Harlem neighborhood August 17, 2004 of New York City. Over two decades, the income gap has increased between the richest and poorest Americans, according to recently released government data.  (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

According to academic research, redlining never went away. One of the most difficult things about trying to talk race in this country is the fact that our knowledge of and agreement on basic facts is so varied. While most of us know that the enslavement and segregation of black people gravely impacted their economic opportunity at one point in time, there is a serious disconnect about what came after.

While many black people are intimately familiar with the practice of redlining (which refers to a combination of housing discrimination and obstructive lending practices which prevent blacks from obtaining home ownership), […]

Robots and AI are going to make social inequality even worse, says new report


Most economists agree that advances in robotics and AI over the next few decades are likely to lead to significant job losses. But what’s less often considered is how these changes could also impact social mobility. A new report from UK charity Sutton Trust explains the danger, noting that unless governments take action, the next wave of automation will dramatically increase inequality within societies, further entrenching the divide between rich and poor.

The are a number of reasons for this, say the report’s authors, including the ability of richer individuals to re-train for new jobs; the rising importance of “soft […]

The cure for income inequality in New York City’s immigrant communities


(William Alatriste / New York City Council) If you ask an immigrant in New York City why they came to the United States, they will likely tell you it was to offer better opportunities for their children – a first-rate education, social mobility and economic advancement.

Affordable housing is a critical part of that brighter picture, because if a new immigrant family cannot afford their rent, nothing else matters. This is why the creation of more affordable housing has been my top issue on the City Council, and why I applaud Mayor Bill de Blasio for his effort to add […]

Daily chartIn America, you are what you eat


WHAT is soppressata? Google searches for the Italian meat surged last week, thanks to a column by David Brooks in the New York Times in which he recounted an awkward lunch at an upscale delicatessen with “a friend with only a high-school degree”. Upon suspecting that his less-credentialed companion might have felt alienated by a menu which listed ingredients such as “soppressata, capicollo and…striata baguette[s]”, Mr Brooks and his colleague then retreated to a Mexican restaurant, which he surmised would constitute a class-neutral haven.

Mr Brooks used this anecdote to highlight a broader argument: that cultural social barriers, such as […]

These Are The Best Colleges For Economic Mobility By State

best colleges for economics mobility in each state

We looked at the most recent data to determine which schools give their students the best chance of moving up the economic ladder in each state. A college education has long been ingrained in our psyches not just as key, but the key to economic mobility. And for many parents, one of the first things they do to get adulting is open up a college fund, hoping this will give their kids the whole American Dream thing — and we’ve got a list of the best schools for catapulting students into the wealthiest brackets.

We at Zippia have put together […]

Are Competencies More Important Than Credentials In The Modern Workplace?

competency-based training

As college enrolments decline, have skills become more valuable to employers than credentials?

“From almost any individual’s perspective,” wrote David Leonhardt for the New York Times in 2014, “college is a no-brainer. It’s the most reliable ticket to the middle class and beyond.”

Given the exorbitant expenses of third-level education in the US, Leonhardt’s statement is unpalatable for many, yet hardly controversial. For decades, students and parents have aspired towards gaining college degrees with the widely held conviction that to get a good job, the first thing you need is a good education.It’s a truism that holds up as well […]

Democracy Without Glue

Javier López

Javier López The aftershocks of the Great Recession are still being felt. The trail of suffering in the shape of unemployment and destruction of wealth has transformed the map-making of the western world, ending up by provoking a real geopolitical recession with an Anglo-American epicentre aka the cradle of global capitalism. Likewise, the coordinates of the political agenda are being modified; old conflicts are resurfacing, new cracks appearing. Once again, distribution of wealth, inequality and their effects are returning to the centre stage of public debate. Why is this?

We are reproducing the abnormal levels of inequality of the Gilded […]