Growing up in a moderate income area near San Diego, Arnold Cuenca had an interest in and aptitude for science in high school. But as he contemplated potential careers, he, like most of his peers, was encouraged to enter the military or take a job right out of high school -- paths most of his peers chose. His mom was a nurse, though, and that got him thinking about being a doctor.
"Other than my mom, I had nothing to encourage me to become a health professional -- I didn't know what medicine was," says Cuenca.
As they waited Thursday morning for the House of Representatives higher education subcommittee to vote on legislation to extend the Higher Education Act, lobbyists for for-profit and nonprofit colleges had strikingly different answers to the simple question "How are things going?"
Bruce D. Leftwich, vice president for government relations at the Career College Association, responded with an enthusiastic "Great, great." David S. Baime, who plays the same role for the American Association of Community Colleges, offered an uncertain "I have no idea."