Outrageous cost of college is a ‘scam’ creating a ‘slow-burning crisis’, says research director

The exorbitant costs of attending college put students at risk of failure – and higher education is often a “scam” and unnecessary in some areas, a writer and researcher on market influences and monopolies has said.

“I think the financial aspects of college or higher education have overwhelmed the ability to create citizenship at a very basic level,” Matt Stoller, research director at the American Economic Liberties Project, told PKB News. “It’s kind of like a slow-burn crisis that we have to address.”

The average cost of going to a private college — including tuition, fees, books, and room and board — has risen from $2,930 a year in 1971 to $51,690 in 2021, the data shows. of the College Board non-profit group. Nearly a third of parents and students think college is too expensive, according to a recent study by Sallie Mae and Ipsos.

“Columbia’s journalism school is kind of in an existential crisis because they have a nine-month degree that costs $120,000 and they’re like, ‘Are we the problem? ‘” Stoller said. “Yeah, you’re the problem. You are not the only problem. You are no longer a symptom.

Stoller also sees the high prices of elite institutions as a way to make money.

Columbia University’s prestigious journalism school costs $120,000 for the nine-month course.

“There’s a scam out there,” he told PKB News. “I have not been able to figure out what this scam is.”

“That’s what’s causing this problem,” he added.

Undergraduate enrollment fell by more than 650,000 students — more than 4% — between spring 2021 and 2022, according to a report from the National Student Clearinghouse.

Matt Stoller, research director, sees high prices from elite institutions as a way to make money.
Matt Stoller, research director, sees high prices from elite institutions as a way to make money.

“I think the school exists to make citizens and build a moral and autonomous society. Plus, it’s there for you to find a job and build a life,” Stoller said. “I think we’re falling on all counts, and we need to examine why.”

Colleges are “such a mess in terms of administrative bloat” and “putting people in a lot of debt,” he added. “You can’t come out of school with a lot of debt and be a good citizen – you’re now someone else’s dependent.”

Stoller also questioned the need for certain degrees, such as journalism. The high cost associated with journalism school, he said, “shows that it is simply an accreditation mechanism for a social class more than a practical way to think about freedom. expression in a democracy”.

In August, Politico Magazine ran a profile on Columbia Journalism School Dean Jelani Cobb. In the play, “’Are we the problem?’ New Columbia J-School Dean Struggles With His Place in the Industry,” Cobb discusses questions about the need for the journalism school and the state of the industry itself.

Dean who hopes Columbia will be “a pipeline that helps make the [journalism] more democratic field,” he himself did not attend Columbia’s nine-month program, which costs students $120,000.

“Journalism was a working-class profession. There’s nothing rocket science behind writing a news article,” Stoller, who writes weekly newsletters for his own Substack account, told PKB News. “You just figure out what’s going on and you write it down.”

“You need a high school diploma for that – that’s it,” he said.

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