Monday, December 3, 2007

Edwards: Tapping Working-Class Roots to Focus on Opportunity

Few contenders this presidential season have made higher education as fundamental to their candidacy as has John Edwards, the former U.S. senator from North Carolina. He has called for simplifying federal financial aid, overhauling the student-loan system, and providing a year’s free tuition to all college students. For Mr. Edwards, who grew up making do in small, Southern towns, the issue of college access feeds into a broader theme of his campaign, that of providing economic, educational, and social opportunity to all Americans.

In the the latest installment of The Chronicle's series of profiles of the leading candidates for president, we take a look at Mr. Edwards’s efforts to establish a pilot college-access program in his home state and how his own experience could shape his perspective as president.

We have also posted a Q&A from a Chronicle interview Mr. Edwards that was conducted in 2006, when he was director of the Center for Poverty, Work, and Opportunity at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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