Nancy Cauthen

Nancy Cauthen is director of the Economic Opportunity Program at Demos.

Recent Articles

The High Cost of Working Hard

Why students need to work less and study more.

As postsecondary education has become nearly essential for getting a decent job and entering the middle class, it has become financially out of reach for many of America's young people. Costs have risen exponentially, while financial-aid policies have increasingly abandoned students with the greatest financial need. This means that students and their families now pay (or borrow) a lot more for a college degree, and increasing numbers of students work at least part time. All of these factors increase the risk that more young people from low- to moderate-income families -- who are disproportionately African American, Hispanic, and first-generation college students -- will enroll only to drop out because of financial constraints. These trends are most evident at community colleges. Over the next decade, jobs requiring at least an associate degree are projected to grow twice as fast as jobs requiring no college experience. Yet college graduation rates have stagnated (see Michael Hout,...