In higher education, the United States is the preeminent global leader, dominating the list of the world's top research universities. But there are signs that its position of global leadership will face challenges in the future, as it has in other realms of international competition. This book addresses the variety of issues crucial to understanding this preeminence and this challenge. It examines the various factors that contributed to America's success in higher education, including openness to people and ideas, generous governmental support, and a tradition of decentralized friendly competition. The book also explores the advantages of holding a dominant position in this marketplace and examines the current state of American higher education in a comparative context, placing particular emphasis on how market forces affect universities. By discussing the differences in quality among students and institutions around the world, it sheds light on the singular aspects of American higher education.