By Tressie McMillan Cottom


"With nice compassion and analytical rigor, Cottom questions the elemental narrative of yank schooling coverage, postsecondary measure continually promises a greater life..”
—The ny occasions e-book evaluate

More than million scholars are enrolled in for-profit faculties, from the small family-run operations to the behemoths brandished on billboards, subway advertisements, and late-night advertisements. those faculties were round simply so long as their bucolic not-for-profit opposite numbers, but shockingly little is understood approximately why they've got accelerated so quickly in contemporary years—during the so-called Wall highway period of for-profit colleges.

In Lower Ed Tressie McMillan Cottom—a daring and emerging public student, herself as soon as a recruiter at for-profit colleges—expertly parses the fraught dynamics of this big-money to teach accurately the way it is a component and parcel of the transforming into inequality plaguing the rustic this day. McMillan Cottom discloses the intelligent recruitment and advertising concepts that those colleges install and explains how, regardless of the well-documented predatory practices of a few and the campus closings of others, finishing for-profit faculties won’t finish the vulnerabilities that made them the quickest growing to be region of upper schooling on the flip of the twenty-first century. and she or he doesn’t cease there.

With sharp perception and planned acumen, McMillan Cottom promises a finished view of postsecondary for-profit schooling through illuminating the reports of the typical humans at the back of the shareholder gains, congressional battles, and scholar debt failures. The relatable human tales in Lower Ed—from moms suffering to pay for good looks college to operating category men looking “good jobs” to comprehensive execs pursuing doctoral degrees—illustrate that the expansion of for-profit faculties is inextricably associated with higher questions of race, gender, paintings, and the promise of chance in America.

Drawing on multiple hundred interviews with scholars, staff, executives, and activists, Lower Ed tells the tale of the advantages, pitfalls, and genuine expenses of a for-profit schooling. it's a tale approximately damaged social contracts; approximately schooling remodeling from a public curiosity to a personal achieve; and approximately all american citizens and the demanding situations we are facing in our divided, unequal society.

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Additional resources for Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy

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Some of that work can be read in scholarly books, academic journals, and in various media stories I have written over the years. More personally, I have advised students and parents who email me, concerned that they have chosen poorly. I have engaged the many students who write to me angry that no one understands how hard he or she worked for their degree at a for-profit college. In these pages, I merge experience with empirics. It is an account of why for-profit colleges are not only here, and here in a big way, but also why they are likely to stay here given our social and economic conditions.

I have engaged the many students who write to me angry that no one understands how hard he or she worked for their degree at a for-profit college. In these pages, I merge experience with empirics. It is an account of why for-profit colleges are not only here, and here in a big way, but also why they are likely to stay here given our social and economic conditions. I write as a sociologist and as a human, because these data and this phenomenon deserve nothing less. 1 THE REAL The questions surrounding for-profit higher education are endless.

My enrollment exercise included phone calls, email exchanges, and on-campus interviews. That fieldwork drove home how remarkably similar for-profit colleges are to each other and why that similarity is so efficient for so many different student populations. The efficiency works because more and more people are similarly affected by changes in how we work in the new economy. The risk for changing jobs and moving up the professional ladder has shifted to individual workers across race, class, and gender.

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