We have an education problem in the States.
There’s already a strong push for college at high schools in communities that are financially better off. This is because college is expensive, and they know that in order to convince someone to spend $50,000 dollars a semester, that someone needs to be able to spend that much money and be able to take out that type of loan, and they need to be 100% sold and invested in the idea. The reason there’s a push for college is because it’s too expensive. In other countries, like Austria for example, the majority of their student population continues on to higher levels of education without as much of a push for it. The reason for the easy flow is due to how public of an education it is, with tuition that’s affordable to nearly every student, even for their most prestigious schools [check this].
Think in terms of big picture: edu as social mobility.
Education in the United States doesn’t paint a land of equal opportunity. Although all communities have free lower division public schools, there isn’t the most unified education standards state by state, and even more importantly, is the alarmingly way that the quality of education deviates from community to community. This gives these students no other option but to use college as a way to level the playing field and use education for social mobility. But higher level education should be made more affordable, allowing students of different socio-economic standings to continue with education and break the cycle. This would also take a lot of pressure off of the push for higher education. But in a lot of ways, the availability of higher education isn’t the true root of the problem. The problem lies in the unequal quality of lower education, which should itself strive to be breaking the socio-economic cycles of poorer neighborhoods and provide their students with opportunities to grow. This will help society as well, as younger generations are better educated, the community will grow and develop with the people in it, improving the socio-economic standing of the community as a whole.