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Changing class: Are colleges helping Americans move up?

APM Reports
Patrick Hughes of Queens, NY, is the son of Jamaican immigrants and an example of Stony Brook University's success launching low-income students into profitable careers.

As part of a series on education from APM Reports, we're airing documentaries for the first four weeks in September on Public Radio Presents. For the first in the series, we ask if colleges help Americans move up into a higher socioeconomic class.

If you want to move up in America, people will tell you to go to college. That’s the usual advice. And there’s loads of evidence that a college degree will improve your economic prospects. But a new project by a group of economists shows that some colleges are doing a much better job than others when it comes to promoting social mobility. In fact, some colleges are doing more to exacerbate class divides than to help people move up.

We visit a college coming to terms with its own role in perpetuating class divides and another that has long been a “mobility maker” -- but is struggling to stay that way.

Tune in Sunday, September 1 at 7 p.m. on WRVO.