Via Joanne Jacobs,
a wonderful article by Jay Greene and Marcus Winters
in National Review describes the problem John Kerry or any other candidate faces in trying to buy votes from college students and their parents.
Using data provided by the U.S. Department of Education, a recent study by the Manhattan Institute estimated the number of students in the nation who were college ready. The study found that nationally only 32 percent of students leave high school prepared to apply to college. The picture is particularly bleak for minorities: Just 20 percent of African-American students and 16 percent of Hispanic students are even eligible to apply to a four-year college at the end of high school.
For the high-school class of 2000, that translates to an estimated 1,298,920 who were college-ready, a figure very close to the 1,341,000 students who actually enrolled in college for the first time in that year. The same is true for minority groups: Hispanic students make up about 9 percent of the college-ready population and about 7 percent of students entering college; African Americans make up about 9 percent of all college-ready students and about 11 percent of incoming freshmen. The pattern is similar for white and Asian students as well.
This indicates that there is not a large pool of students who are academically qualified to apply to college but who are prevented from doing so by a lack of funds � or by anything else, for that matter. Just about all students who are academically able to go to college do go to college.
And I think I just finished grading the exams for ALL of those extra 42,000 students who didn't belong in college.