Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Missing from Top Colleges: Veterans but Some Universities Are Now Waking Up and Promising to Do Better

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Missing from Top Colleges: Veterans but Some Universities Are Now Waking Up and Promising to Do Better

Article excerpt

Socioeconomic diversity on college campuses is an obsession of mine. A lot of colleges, public and private, like to think of their campuses as highly diverse. And they are diverse racially, religiously and geographically. But many of them remain dominated by affluent students.

One twist on this problem is the embarrassingly small number of military veterans at many top colleges. "Veterans," says Catharine Bond Hill, the former president of Vassar, who now runs Ithaka S+R, a research group, "are underrepresented at the set of schools with the highest graduation rates and the most resources." Some top colleges enroll fewer than five veterans a year. My colleague, New York Times columnist Frank Bruni, listed some of the miserable numbers in a 2016 column.

But now there are at least some small signs of progress. I attended a conference at Arlington National Cemetery last week at which several colleges promised to increase veteran enrollment.

Cornell University, which now has about 40 veterans among its undergraduates, plans to raise that number to 100 by 2020, for example. …

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