The University of California is struggling with budget woes that have deeply affected campus life. Yet the system’s nine colleges still lead the nation in providing top-flight college education to the masses.
At many other colleges, poor and truly middle-class students remain a distinct minority. Affluent students predominate at liberal-arts colleges like Oberlin and Bates, private universities like Cornell and Texas Christian and even many public universities, including Wisconsin, Penn State and Georgia Tech. The University of California, by contrast, enrolls large number of high-performing students of all economic backgrounds.
That contrast is the most striking result of this year’s College […]