The Higher Ed Experience in 2014: Our College Pick

MiamiDadeCollege

The college experience for many American students in 2014 is not a residential, Animal House one. Students work and enroll part time to avoid what feels like an inevitable and insurmountable debt load. They may live at home and commute to classes. They get the curriculum, but have to work harder to meet people and be involved with campus activities. That’s an important part of college, too, and one that pays dividends later with resume experience and network building. Brayan Vazquez is a first-year student at Miami Dade College. He is undocumented, and has a 110-mile commute to class twice a week. Increasingly, he is the face of the typical college student in America in 2014. In his profile of Vazquez, reporter Gregory Castillo spent time with the student, his family, and the policy makers who want to extend in-state tuition benefits to undocumented students. How to serve this population is a growing discussion among educators, students, politicians, activists, and tax payers. It’s a well-reported, under-covered story. Like any good piece of journalism, it’s a conversation starter.

Brayan Takes the Train

Gregory Castillo | The Reporter | March 4, 2014 | 9 minutes (2,336 words)

I teach magazine journalism at Syracuse University's Newhouse School. Previously: NYMag.com, The Black Table. Writing: Bust, Slate, Vulture, etc.
Get the Longreads Weekly Email

Sign up to receive the Top 5 Longreads of the week, delivered every Friday.