THE economic stagnation that we have experienced in recent years represents a break in one of the most durable trends in American social history—a hundred-year record of steady increases in the proportion of the population receiving postsecondary education and the successful assimilation of this population into mainstream industrial and service activities. The statistics are impressive: in 1900, 4 percent of the 18- to 21-year-olds were in institutions of higher learning; the percentage was 33 percent in 1958, and is estimated now to be stabilized in the neighborhood of 40 percent (exclusive of special vocational and training programs). 1 The increase is even more impressive if we note that the proportions grew during a period when the overall population doubled and that the proportions going on to postgraduate education grew steeply as well. What many commentators have found difficult to comprehend is that until quite recently this increase had not been accompanied by a deterioration in the quality of the student body. They are bound to be profoundly disturbed by the recommendation here that the trend of increase in the proportion educated should be vigorously reestablished.