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FROM THIS EPISODE

College admissions have become a multi-billion dollar industry, financed by parents' hopes for their children. What does it ultimately mean for the kids? Also, a closer look at the 2011 budget deal, and President Obama on the role of government and how to finance it.

Banner image: A freshman enters the Admissions Building at Harvard University. Photo: Glen Cooper/Getty Images

Producers:
Sonya Geis
Gary Scott
Frances Anderton

Main Topic How Much Does College Matter? 28 MIN, 10 SEC

As President Obama makes yet another speech about America's future, more than a million high school seniors are deciding about college. No less than 70 percent will be accepted somewhere, most often near home. But many will have been recruited by the most elite schools, even though they'll never get in. From Harvard on down, schools encourage "application inflation," because the more they reject the better their reputations. Are they really that good? Are they worth all that money? We look at the past 10 years of increases in applications to the elite, most exclusive schools, and hear about the strange and expensive world of college admissions.

Guests:
Jacques Steinberg, New York Times
Andrew Ferguson, 'Crazy U'
Anthony Carnevale, Georgetown University

The Gatekeepers

Jacques Steinberg

Making News A Closer Look at the 2011 Budget Agreement 7 MIN, 47 SEC

Congress has until this Friday to vote on last Friday's budget deal between their leaders and President Obama. Because details weren't revealed until Tuesday, there's enough grumbling to create some uncertainty about passage. Janet Hook covers Congress for the Wall Street Journal.

Guests:
Janet Hook, Wall Street Journal (@hookjan)

Reporter's Notebook Response to President Obama's Speech on Deficit Reduction 15 MIN, 2 SEC

After a meeting with leaders of both parties in Congress today, President Obama made a speech at George Washington University. He called for reducing the deficit by $4 trillion over the next 12 years. The President called on Congress to enact what he called a "Debt Failsafe," to trigger spending reductions across the board. National Journal's Michael Hirsh is author of Capital Offense: How Washington's Wise Men Turned America's Future over to Wall Street. Robert Samuelson, columnist for Newsweek and the Washington Post, is author of The Great Inflation and Its Aftermath: the Past and Future of American Affluence.



Guests:
Michael Hirsh, National Journal (@michaelphirsh)
Robert Samuelson, Newsweek and Washington Post

Capital Offense

Michael Hirsh

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