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Who is Excluded From a College Education and Why?

Lack of Access: Barriers to Higher Education at Baruch College, Thursday, October 4, 2007

New York, NY – Sept. 27, 2007 – With affirmative action remedies in flux and tuition costs still rising, access to a college education remains difficult or impossible for many bright young men and women. Despite the millions of dollars available in Pell grants, scholarships, and loans, many thousands of students find themselves in life circumstances that make higher education unattainable.

The Baruch College School of Public Affairs will address the crucial issue of higher education access in a major conference on Thursday, Oct. 4, 2007. Lack of Access: Barriers to Higher Education will look at who is excluded and why. The conference will consider both national and local examples. Panelists will examine “solutions” ranging from national legislation (The Dream Act) to a variety of local programs and initiatives designed to achieve education equity.

Matthew Goldstein, chancellor of The City University of New York, will join civil rights experts, college and foundation officials, and K-12 educators striving to enlarge the pool of young people with more than theoretical access to higher education. Are today’s barriers primarily economic? Has class replaced race as the key determinant of who gets a college degree? Will the undocumented be excluded?

Lack of Access: Barriers to Higher Education takes place at Baruch’s Newman Vertical Campus, 55 Lexington Avenue (at 24th Street). Kathleen Waldron, president of Baruch College, delivers opening remarks at 9 am. Speakers at the morning plenary sessions include Martha Lamkin (Lumina Foundation), Kati Haycock (The Education Trust), Brian Perkins (National School Boards Association), Margarita Ross (Grand Street Settlement), and Lezli Baskerville (National Association of Equal Opportunity in Higher Education). The afternoon will be devoted to workshop sessions.

This conference is the first public event organized under the auspices of the Center on Equality, Pluralism and Policy, the School of Public Affairs, Baruch College. Conference organizers are Professor Sonia Jarvis, Ackerman Chair in Equality and Justice in America, and Lynne Weikart, Professor of Public Affairs. This event is co-sponsored by the Urban Education Program, CUNY Graduate Center, the Ackerman Lecture Series on Equality and Justice in America, and the Carnegie Foundation.

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