Published: August 26, 2013
Last week, President Obama proposed sweeping changes to how the government helps finance students’ higher education. As a college degree has become more and more critical for professional success, the cost of going to university has skyrocketed. And now, recent graduates and politicians are speaking up, alarmed by the collective $1 trillion in student loan debt.
So this week on the show, we’re taking on the history of higher ed. From Thomas Jefferson’s vision of an academical village to the passing of the GI Bill in 1944, we’ll explore how Americans’ access to a college education has expanded. What did admission practices look like in the past? What kind of controversies cropped up within the halls of academia? We’ll also look at how college life become a fixture in the popular imagination, from tutors to toga parties.
Help us shape this show! When did members of your family start going to college? Are you a first generation college student? Did you decide to bypass college because it was too expensive? Do you have a favorite college movie? Share your questions, stories, and ideas below — or email them to backstory [at] Virginia [dot] edu.