I went to a terrific lecture today at PACIM (Polish American Cultural Institute in Minnesota). The speakers were Marta Shaw and Brad Winer (perhaps spelled wrong). Both are PhD candidates at the University of Minnesota. Marta is from Poland and will be returning there in January; Brad has been involved in higher education in the United States at a number of universities. They compared the values of the two higher education systems, who goes to college, and how it is paid for. It is obvious there are strengths and weaknesses in both systems.
I was struck by Marta's discussion of rich kids and poor kids in Poland, and the idea that rich kids get into the excellent Polish universities and don't have to pay, the poor kids don't and go into the private system where they must pay. I have been involved with a lot of teenagers and young adults in Poland and didn't regard any of them as rich.
Would love to have some comments from either the US or Poland about our higher education systems!