Tressie McMillan Cottom presents "Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy"

Wednesday March 1, 7:30PM

@ Red Emma's

We're incredibly excited to welcome radical scholar Tressie McMillan Cottom to present her new book on the political economy of for-profit education in 21st century America!

A former insider discloses the story behind for-profit schools to explain the exorbitant price tags, the questionable credentials, and the lose-lose options for Americans seeking a better life.

“Private, for-profit colleges and universities serving adult, low-income and primarily minority students . . . are engaged in the important work of preparing students for productive and successful careers.” —Steve Gunderson, president and CEO, Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities, in the Wall Street Journal

For nearly three centuries, American institutions of higher education have had missions driven not by money but by training, educating, or cultivating minds. Today more than two million students are enrolled in for-profit colleges such as ITT Technical Institute, the University of Phoenix, and others. While such schools have existed almost as long as their bucolic not-for-profit counterparts, little is known about why for-profits have expanded so quickly over the last decade and even less about how the power and influence of this big-money industry impact individual lives.

Lower Ed, the first book to link the rapid growth of for-profit degrees to America’s increasing inequality, reveals the story of an industry that exploits the pain, desperation, and aspirations of people in vulnerable circumstances and exposes the conditions that allow for-profit education to thrive. Tressie McMillan Cottom draws on her personal experience as a former admissions counselor at two for-profit colleges and over one hundred interviews with students, senior executives, and activists to detail how these schools have become so successful and to decipher the benefits, pitfalls, and real costs of a for-profit education.

And just in case you were wondering how for-profit education fits into the current political context, remember that as of this writing the President-elect is scheduled to be on trial for this fraudulent scam:



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