That is the new book by Paul Tough, I read it through in one sitting. The back cover offers an appropriate introduction to the work:
Does college work? Does it provide real opportunity for young people who want to improve themselves and their prospects? Or is it simply a rigged game designed to protect the elites who have power and exclude everyone else?
That may sound a little overwrought, but this book actually delivers a quality product on those questions. In addition to the well-selected anecdotes, Tough also engages seriously with the research of Raj Chetty, Caroline Hoxby, and others. He is also willing to report politically incorrect truths (for instance the percentage of black attendees at top colleges who are from Africa or the Caribbean) without gloating about it or slanting the evidence, as is so commonly done.
Here is one short zinger to savor:
At the University of Virginia, only 13 percent of undergraduates are eligible for Pell grants — a lower rate than at Princeton University or Trinity College. At the University of Michigan, the figure is 16 percent. At the University of Alabama, the flagship public institution of one of the poorest states in the nation, the median family income for undergraduates is higher than at Bryn Mawr College.