The documentary “College Inc.”, which first aired in 2010, is still just as relevant today. It showcases the dramatic transformation of higher education during the late 90s and early 00s that saw it become an immense business. The film raised questions about the legitimacy of this shift and whether or not the government should get involved with financing higher education.
In America, college can be an unattainable dream for many individuals due to its high cost. With a lack of affordable options, some are forced straight into low-paying jobs after high school graduation. Community colleges do exist across the country, however they are unable to meet the demands of high school graduates and adults who want to return to school.
In modern times, getting a college degree has become increasingly important for entering the workforce. Jack Welch and Michael Clifford recognized this gap in the educational market; they sought out to buy up failing colleges and universities to create for-profit businesses which cater towards students who need more flexible scheduling options – such as night classes or online courses – than those traditionally offered by other institutions.
Unfortunately, these private for-profit schools can become just as expensive as traditional universities and tend to leave their students with large amounts of debt due to loan interest rates. These companies operate as businesses rather than educational institutions, spending more on marketing than most other consumer brands annually. Additionally, illegal recruitment practices like false advertising have been observed from these for-profits in order to lure low-income students hoping for financial freedom through their degrees. Data shows that these students accumulate twice as much debt compared to student loans from public or private non-profit schools. Worse yet, many find that upon graduating these schools do not provide proper training or accreditation needed for employment in their chosen field of study.
During Obama’s administration a gainful employment rule was introduced with hopes of stopping federal student aid from career training programs where graduates struggled immensely with paying off loans relative to their incomes. President Biden has recently announced plans to forgive $10,000 in federal student debt for most borrowers but it remains unclear if this will be enough help struggling with current tuition costs.
Overall, “College Inc” provides viewers with insight into how higher education became a lucrative business and dives deep into what effects this multi-billion dollar industry has had on students attempting graduate college debt free – making it just as essential today as when it first aired over 10 years ago. For anyone seeking information on how far we’ve come since then regarding college costs and regulations, this documentary is definitely worth a watch!