AbstractA third ideal-typical normative pattern of mobility in education is added to Ralph Turner's classic models of contest and sponsored mobility. The salient characteristics of the new "Failsafe " model are illustrated from the Ontario high school system. The impact of the new normative pattern on university education is illustrated from the author's own college. Student behaviour ranging from increased cheating to increased petitioning is related to the failsafe norms. The failsafe system lacks important selective functions of the contest and sponsored models, and has produced an excess of graduates "with elite skills, for whom there are no elite stations". False consciousness of students as individual "academic entrepreneurs" has thus far prevented the experience of frustration at "overqualification" from becoming a class protest.