Colleges: The Arbiters Of Success In The 21st Century

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Colleges have played an important role in American development and progress since before it even existed as a country. From the early universities of Harvard and Yale to newer institutions like Rice University and UCLA, colleges have been part of American life for generations, and those with degrees carry them as a symbol of pride and success. However, those living in the 21st century are starting to question the role that colleges have established for themselves. Prospective students are beginning to wonder whether colleges are still the arbiters of success they claim to be. In an effort to bring light to the issue, viewing the role of college in the past is essential. America’s first college was Harvard, founded in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1636. Harvard, along with many colleges of its time, was founded for mainly religious purposes. The Puritans of New England had lots of religious zeal, and colleges were ways to teach church members the upper-level ideas necessary to be a high-ranking clergy member. They valued knowledge in a time when it was very hard to come by. Colleges in this era of American history were extremely rare, and only 9 were founded before the beginning of the American revolution. This was mainly because colleges were extremely expensive, and needed either colonial government or the royal crown’s support to build, as they were some of the largest construction efforts of the time, comparable to a new major church or a capitol building. Initially,

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