What if the default changed? All students who weren’t enrolled in college were by default enrolled into an intensive summer program focused on career and life planning?
Right now the default is that if you’re not going to college, you’re on your own. You find a job, usually a low wage, low skill job and your life begins. One day you were writing essays and finishing a final exam, and now you’re making $9.50/hour working retail for the foreseeable future.
With some planning, we could drastically change these outcomes. The intervention should be the default option. Students could prove their way out by showing their college plans, or their existing career opportunity. But in general, everyone should enter the program.
Defaults matter and it’s up to the system designer to make defaults that truly serve the people.