"Fareed Zakaria GPS," Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN
As you know, American higher education remains the envy of the world, and it has been the nation's greatest path to social and economic mobility, sorting and rewarding talented kids from any and all backgrounds.
But there are broad changes taking place at American universities that are moving them away from an emphasis on merit and achievement and toward offering a privileged experience for an already privileged group.
State universities – once the highways of advancement for the middle class – have been utterly transformed in recent decades, under the pressure of rising costs and falling government support.
A new book, Paying for the Party: How College Maintains Inequality, shows how many state schools have established a "party pathway," admitting more and more rich out-of-state kids who can afford hefty tuition bills but who are middling students.
Watch the video for the full take or read the column at TIME