The College Puzzle Blog
Prior PostingsAbout
Dr. Michael W. Kirst

Michael W. Kirst is Professor Emeritus of Education and Business Administration at Stanford University since 1969.
Dr. Kirst received his Ph.D. in political economy and government from Harvard. Before joining the Stanford University faculty, Dr. Kirst held several positions with the federal government, including Staff Director of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Manpower, Employment and Poverty. He was a former president of the California State Board of Education. His book From High School to College with Andrea Venezia was published by Jossey Bass in 2004.

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My blog discusses the important and complex subjects of college completion, college success, student risk factors (for failing), college readiness, and academic preparation. I will explore the pieces of the college puzzle that heavily influence, if not determine, college success rates.

Public Concerned About College Access

A new nationwide poll by The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education reveals that concern is growing about college costs and availability. 78% of Americans believe students have to borrow too much money to pay for college, 62% believe many qualified students do not have access to college,59% say college prices are rising as fast or faster than health care.
But this poll also shows what all recent polls have found : higher education gets much higher public approval marks than k-12 -51% grade higher education good or excellent compared to 37% for k-12. So there still is not much public pressure to overhaul higher ed. As long as the public myth continues that USA higher ed is the best in the world not much is likely to happen to change it. See the poll at


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