The United States' global competitiveness is suffering in part because recent policies at all levels of education have widened the achievement gap between rich and poor, according to a report released on Monday by the Council on Foreign Relations.
The report, part of the council's "Renewing America" series, says that stalled expansion of access to community colleges and student-loan repayment plans that favor wealthy borrowers have perpetuated a class divide, increased dropout rates, and curbed college attainment.
"The concrete changes that have been made to federal postsecondary policy—new debt forgiveness and tax breaks—have tilted a game field that was already in favor of wealthier students even more so, all at a cost to taxpayers," the report says.
As a result, the percentage of 25- to 34-year-old Americans who have completed college has fallen to 13th in the world, while older Americans earned college degrees at a rate that put the country third internationally. The slip puts the country's national security at risk, the council warns.
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