But as the century got older, gradually college became seen as the means by which citizens could become above average, and it was regarded as unfair that this opportunity should be available only to the rich.
By the Sixties, the construction of new colleges and a variety of scholarship programs (most notably the GI Bill) had resulted in a large mass of new college graduates. Discouragingly enough, though, many of these new graduates turned out to be only average after all. It was then realized that we had underestimated what would be required to raise a person above the norm. For many, at least a Masters degree would be essential. Therefore money was poured into creating new graduate programs and expanding existing ones, and creating new graduate fellowships, such as those established by the National Defense Education Act. But by the end of the Sixties, it was becoming apparent that even a graduate degree was not adequate to make someone above average. It became common to find PhDs driving taxi-cabs and painting houses.
Going to college has become the normal rite of passage for a moderately intelligent middle-class youth. Anyone who has the ability and the desire can now become educated, but the American dream of having a standard formula that any person can follow to become successful and above average is still unfulfilled.
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