Lower Ed: How For-Profit Colleges Deepen Inequality in America

Lower Ed How For Profit Colleges Deepen Inequality in America Despite the celebrated history of not for profit institutions of higher education today than million students are enrolled in for profit colleges such as ITT Technical Institute the University of

  • Title: Lower Ed: How For-Profit Colleges Deepen Inequality in America
  • Author: Tressie McMillan Cottom
  • ISBN: 9781620970607
  • Page: 137
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Despite the celebrated history of not for profit institutions of higher education, today than 2 million students are enrolled in for profit colleges such as ITT Technical Institute, the University of Phoenix, and others Yet little is known about why for profits have expanded so quickly and even less about how the power and influence of this big money industry impactDespite the celebrated history of not for profit institutions of higher education, today than 2 million students are enrolled in for profit colleges such as ITT Technical Institute, the University of Phoenix, and others Yet little is known about why for profits have expanded so quickly 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 expansion of for profit degrees to America s increasing inequality, reveals the story of an industry that exploits the pain, desperation, and aspirations of the most vulnerable and exposes the conditions that allow for profit education to thrive.Tressie McMillan Cottom draws on her personal experience as a former counselor at two for profit colleges and dozens of interviews with students, senior executives, and activists to detail how these schools have become so successful and to decipher the benefits, credentials, pitfalls, and real costs of a for profit education By humanizing the hard choices about school and survival that millions of Americans face, Lower Ed nimbly parses the larger forces that deliver some of us to Yale and others to For Profit U in an office park off Interstate 10.

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      Published :2019-02-20T16:53:37+00:00

    1 thought on “Lower Ed: How For-Profit Colleges Deepen Inequality in America”

    1. In Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy, Tressie McMillan Cottom is at her very best--rigorous, incisive, empathetic, and witty. Lower Ed is a definitive accounting of the for-profit college phenomenon, who benefits from such schools and who is preyed upon. McMillan Cottom shares some sobering realities about for-profit education but her sharp intelligence, throughout, makes this book compelling, unforgettable, and deeply necessary.

    2. A fascinating and sobering examination of the for-profit college phenomenon in the United States. As someone who has a good amount of economic privilege, I always tuned out commercials and advertisements for for-profit colleges. I did not think in any deep way about what their presence meant about our society. Tressie McMillan Cottom does a fabulous job of breaking down the socioeconomic implications of these institutions, showing that they capitalize on the inequalities created by our capitalis [...]

    3. This was amazing, I just took a peek and could not stop reading, I was basically nailed to the book. It's based on the author's own ethnographic and sociological research; also ownvoices in multiple aspects. I can already see it on my 2017 best nonfiction reads list (eek I still need to post the 2016 one!).I knew little about American for-profit colleges and I learned an immense amount from this book. Fair, nuanced, empathetic, avoids easy oversimplifications. I'll need to recommend it to alllll [...]

    4. Cottom’s excellent new book is about for-profit colleges and credentialing, but it’s really about the collapse of the safety net and the dumping of risk on individuals. It’s also about really effective marketing techniques.For-profit colleges became more attractive as the labor market became more uncertain and unfriendly—they even identified declining unemployment as a bigger threat to them than competition among them. “Poor labor market outcomes for their graduates (and non-graduates) [...]

    5. Just as good as everyone says it is. What really stood out to me was how Tressie frames the discussion of for-profits not as an educational conversation (where it tends to reside), but as a broader result of the way work and employment are changing. As someone who spends a lot of time thinking about these issues, that really pushes me to think about whether the solutions we have really are sufficient. For a long time I'd thought that part of the fix here was about dealing with our credentialing [...]

    6. As I was sorting this book onto virtual GoodReads shelves, I thought to myself "I should really rename my social-justice-social-issues shelf books-about-the-world-that-make-me-angry." This book does make me angry, because Tressie McMillan Cottom does such an extraordinary job of exploring and explaining the growth of for-profit colleges--the way they deepen inequalities, take advantage of people who may not have access to traditional education or credentials, but also how their rise can also be [...]

    7. We read this book for our online book club in spring-summer 2017.Detailed notes and discussion for each chapter are on my blog:the reading planintroductionchapter 1chapter 2chapter 3chapter 4chapter 5chapter 6epilogue.

    8. A clear book about a complicated subject. Sometimes dense and academic, but always with a strong voice. Frames the financialization of post-secondary eductation as similar to mortgage financialization (and other efforts to move from government supported services to a government supported predatory model). Does a great job of showing how the wide spectrum of for-profit students, from those getting relatively quick credentials to those getting PhDs, are similar in their need for credentials, the r [...]

    9. It didn't take me many pages to assume this is Cottom's doctoral dissertation research revised into a book. After a little research, it was easily confirmed. Not necessarily a bad thing, but be warned - it reads like a dissertation. Cottom worked for 2 different for-profit college companies, one focused on trade/beauty school and the other offering AA, bachelor's, and master's degrees leaving each when she became disturbed by some of their "recruiting" practices. She details some of these issues [...]

    10. Must read for anyone interested in education in our nation! A gripping and intricate story of greed, betrayal, and larceny against students, brought to life by Tressie McMillan Cottom with precision and clarity.

    11. Incomplete!The book is about education, so I awarded a grade, and that grade is “I” — Incomplete. Lower Ed is subtitled The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy. Written by Tressie McMillan Cottom, and published by The New Press in 2017, the book is an analysis of the rise of for-profit higher-education businesses in America, of their effect on the US Economy and, more important, of the effect on the individual students who become deeply in debt because of them. The aut [...]

    12. This book was a little too academic for my tastes. The author spent a lot of time repeating what she had covered earlier in the book. I was more interested in hearing about the ppl she talked to, than about credential theory or whatever. There's nothing really new here if you've seen the Frontline or 60 minutes segment on for-profit colleges. This was an okay book, but I felt it had the potential to be exceptional if it was written more like traditional ethnography.

    13. A series of cherry picked anecdotes that lead to fantastic generalities to feed the confirmation bias of paying customers/readers.If I go into a more profound analysis, this is a sick argument for state owned everything. But I can't stop from laughing at the irony of having an optional life stage support a mandatory and low quality prison school system. Happily, the author does not have the brain power to go that far.

    14. I work in higher ed and have always wondered how for-profit schools survived. They're more expensive, they aren't accredited---why would anyone pick them? This book does an excellent job of answering that question. One you read the book you not only understand but you see how they are successful. This is a fascinating and quick read.

    15. "As it turns out, there is such a thing as "bad" education. It is an educational option that, by design, cannot increase students' odds of beating the circumstances of there birth." A masterpiece that should be read by every person working in higher education.

    16. "As it turns out, there is such a thing as "bad" education. It is an educational option that, by design, cannot increase students' odds of beating the circumstances of their birth."I can't say that anything in Tressie McMillan Cottom's book wholly caught me by surprise. Knowing what we know about the way for-profit organizations operate generally, it makes sense that a for-profit college run by shareholders would seek to increase its returns over all else (including the quality of its programs a [...]

    17. All hail Tressie McMillan Cottom! She has done a tremendous amount of research to expose for-profit colleges for their predatory practices to enroll already struggling people of color into their schools. She uncovers how their marketing and recruiting schemes prey on students fears and insecurities and leave them even more in debt and poorly educated. I was aware of issues with for-profit colleges, but the personal account from Dr. McMillan Cottom (as a former recruiter) and the students she int [...]

    18. Very interesting sociological account of for-profit schools. Well-written in the sense that Dr. Cottom described a phenomenon that is fairly ubiquitous and made it feel brand new without unnecessary novelty. She used plain language to get across complicated ideas, which was very helpful to me (I am the type who needs to re-read academic sentences constantly because I just don't get it, lol). The interviews with people in the process were enlightening because I think we all know at least some of [...]

    19. Well-researched explanation of the world of commercial education. I like the way the author incorporates her own experiences in the industry. They don't feel like forced memoir; they're all really informative. The ending briefly touches on things like coding schools, and even though the book doesn't talk about that topic much directly, I think it's useful context for folks who are part of a bootcamp community.

    20. Incredibly sharp analysis about a subject you probably didn't realize you ever wanted to read a book about. Some chapters were more tedious than others, but McMillan Cottom's insights and conclusions are invaluable. Some of the best social science I've ever read (caveat: I haven't read much; counter-caveat: I want to read much more now, so that should at least say something about how TMC represents her discipline to the lay public)

    21. So so so so so good. I can't stop thinking about this book in every context and going back to it to relate it to other things that are happening/have been happening.

    22. Highly recommend this book. Cottom dives into how for profit colleges prey on those who can often least afford it while spreading a gospel of education that is closer to that of evangelist. A great look at the deep flaws in both our education and financial systems.

    23. "For-profit colleges do not have employment or wage returns that justify their cost to either students or our public system of financial aid" (67).This is an important book. I hope that those who most need to learn about educational fronts and scam schools will do so, but I fear this book will only make its way into the hands of those who already know about the problem. Still, this is a good supplement to offer people after directing them to the Frontline special from a few years back.

    24. If you're dimly aware of for-profit colleges and consider them predators of vulnerable communities, this book will be an eye-opening introduction to the bigger problem with an economy that enables for-profit colleges to thrive. A kind of policy memoir, McMillan Cottom, a former admissions officer for two for-profit colleges, explains how inequality, the struggles of the middle class, and the need for credentials (even risky ones) need to be addressed separate and apart from shareholder-beholden [...]

    25. It's been fashionable lately to search for the causes of disaffection in the American electorate in the march of computer automation, the willingness of both political parties of embrace free trade at the expense of the factory worker, and the rift between the educated and the grassroots.A couple of the better books on the subject I've read include "Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoire of Family and Culture in Crisis" by J.D. Vance and "Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right [...]

    26. The author's sociology background provides a very helpful gender, ethnicity, and class lens through which to examine not only the case of the exponential growth of for-profit education, but the education gospel in general, which proclaims "education as moral, personally edifying collectively beneficial, and a worthwhile investment no matter the cost, either individual or societal;" that all students should attend college and earn a degree. According to Federal Reserve data, 44% of recent college [...]

    27. I was already a fan of Cottom's writing before I heard about her book, because right after the election I read a great piece she wrote about how we use the words "racist" and "racial"a seemingly small detail that makes a world of difference, and something I think about a lot. When I learned that she had written a book about for-profit schools, I was very curious and wanted to learn more.What I liked about this book, besides Cottom's dry, witty yet informative writing style, was that her thesis w [...]

    28. An easy read that is well-organized. I casually read this over the course of two months (it was my car-book that I read while waiting for oil changes, doctors appointments, etc.). Even though it is based on doctoral research, the syntax avoids the academic mumbo-jumbo that so many of us who work in higher ed have to battle on a daily basis. I would say about three-fourths of the book is based on personal stories that Dr. Cottom heard while doing her research, and the rest is based on statistics [...]

    29. Sociologist who had worked at two for-profit's [a cosmetology school and a tech school] and done interviews/undercover-work going thru the motions of enrollment as a student at 9 others reports back re the industry.Useful perspective to keep in mind in that she takes it off the plane of (a) get a load of all these saps borrowing so much money to go to educational dumpster fires that don't even qualify them in the end for decent jobs vs. (b) shame on these hucksters who fraudulently dupe unsuspec [...]

    30. Great overview of the for-profit college industry and of the factors that cause students to choose it over traditional, nonprofit schools. Are these schools predators that trick their victims into staggering debt for expensive, substandard credentials that they may never even manage to finish, all in the name of shareholder value? Or are the students gullible, "low cognitive ability" rubes who should know better than to sign on the dotted line? Cottom does a good job of skirting these simplistic [...]

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