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Lower Ed
Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy | Tressie McMillan Cottom
13 posts | 3 read | 15 to read
"With great compassion and analytical rigor, Cottom questions the fundamental narrative of American education policy, that a postsecondary degree always guarantees a better life.. The New York Times Book Review More than two million students are enrolled in for-profit colleges, from the small family-run operations to the behemoths brandished on billboards, subway ads, and late-night commercials. These schools have been around just as long as their bucolic not-for-profit counterparts, yet shockingly little is known about why they have expanded so rapidly in recent yearsduring the so-called Wall Street era of for-profit colleges. In Lower Ed Tressie McMillan Cottoma bold and rising public scholar, herself once a recruiter at two for-profit collegesexpertly parses the fraught dynamics of this big-money industry to show precisely how it is part and parcel of the growing inequality plaguing the country today. McMillan Cottom discloses the shrewd recruitment and marketing strategies that these schools deploy and explains how, despite the well-documented predatory practices of some and the campus closings of others, ending for-profit colleges wont end the vulnerabilities that made them the fastest growing sector of higher education at the turn of the twenty-first century. And she doesnt stop there. With sharp insight and deliberate acumen, McMillan Cottom delivers a comprehensive view of postsecondary for-profit education by illuminating the experiences of the everyday people behind the shareholder earnings, congressional battles, and student debt disasters. The relatable human stories in Lower Edfrom mothers struggling to pay for beauty school to working class guys seeking good jobs to accomplished professionals pursuing doctoral degreesillustrate that the growth of for-profit colleges is inextricably linked to larger questions of race, gender, work, and the promise of opportunity in America. Drawing on more than one hundred interviews with students, employees, executives, and activists, Lower Ed tells the story of the benefits, pitfalls, and real costs of a for-profit education. It is a story about broken social contracts; about education transforming from a public interest to a private gain; and about all Americans and the challenges we face in our divided, unequal society.
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lele1432
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I have Dr. Cottom's book of essays titled Thick (yet to be read) but just glancing at a few sentences I knew I wanted more of her works, which led me to this & I'm intrigued! It appears to be a critique of the rise of online, for-profit education. I'm curious to see if she discusses the elitism & cost-prohibitiveness of traditional 4yr colleges as well. Or maybe that's her point.🤔 Moving up my TBR! #LetsTravelAugust #College #Nonfiction

Megabooks It‘s really good! They both are! 6mo
lele1432 @Megabooks good to hear! I had a feeling they would be! 6mo
cathipink I loved Thick - need to read this one too. 6mo
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lele1432 @cathipink I may just go ahead and read Thick this weekend! It's short and I can already tell I'll love it too! 6mo
Hooked_on_books Thick is so good! I think I‘d read just about anything from her. 6mo
OriginalCyn620 👌🏻📚 6mo
20 likes6 comments
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TheBookDream
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Starting this while waiting to drive my BF to pick up his car.

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suzisteffen
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Pickpick

4.5?⭐️ Bought this book by preorder, & then it sat on my shelf, taunting me. I can‘t believe I waited this long to read this incredibly important book about why and how for-profit (“online” in some parlances) colleges and grad schools worked. Dr. Cottom‘s shrewd analysis of credentialism and an economy that puts the responsibility for training and retraining on workers - especially low-income workers - is so strong & important. ⬇️

suzisteffen Oops I had to go teach, point is this is a good starting point, with excellent research, for discussions about financial inequality and how that plays out in the educational market. (And how that became a MARKET in the US is also important.) 8mo
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suzisteffen
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Boom (in the epilogue, Dr. Cottom lays it allll out); “The quest has become cheaper—better labor at little to no cost for employers. That is unsustainable. Developing people takes time and money, two things that the new economy stresses to the breaking point.”

Review TK in a few minutes.

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suzisteffen
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“Basically, people who were already suffering from inequalities in wealth, income, and resources default on student loans that, by objective measures, are quite small. This pattern makes student loan defaults an inequality problem rather than a financing-scheme problem. The small debts cut deepest because the poorest students take them on. What we know about poverty and near-poverty is that ... ⬇️” #education #sociology

suzisteffen What we know about poverty and near-poverty is that small sums of cash can derail months of careful planning and a year‘s worth of ambitions. Debt is not absolute but relative—relative to how far below nothing you were when you took the debt on and how close to breaking even you are when it‘s time to repay it.” 8mo
suzisteffen Dr. Cottom and Dr. Gay‘s podcast is ready to go on Luminary! 8mo
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suzisteffen
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Damn, Dr. Cottom.
“When investors and politicians say that for-profit colleges offer a flexible solution to retrain our workforce, they are talking about inequality. ... Flexible solutions, on-demand educations, open access career retraining, reskilling, and upskilling—these are terms that talk about inequality without taking inequality seriously.”

OUCH. Also, this book is fascinating and excellent and scary and sad.

Megabooks This book is so good. I also recommend Thick if you haven‘t already read it! 9mo
suzisteffen @Megabooks yes, I sure have read Thick! SO GOOD. 9mo
Megabooks @suzisteffen I think Tressie and Roxane Gay‘s podcast Hear to Slay finally(!!) comes out this week! I definitely want to listen to that! 9mo
suzisteffen @Megabooks yes! I paid for Luminosity just for that podcast! 9mo
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suzisteffen
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“Luck isn‘t a plan, and it makes for terrible social and economic policy.” - Stephanie Kelton, in the foreword to Dr. Tressie McMillan Cottom‘s Lower Ed. #sociology #analysis

Started this, which I‘ve been meaning to read since I got a preorder in 2017, last night. First book of May for me.

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Megabooks
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Pickpick

Just got up and “got situated” for some more reading!

I finished this up in the middle of the night. It‘s a fascinating dissertation-turned-book that chronicles the boom of for-profit colleges in the early 2000s from the unique perspective of a woman in traditional academia who, before that, worked at two different for-profit colleges as an enrollment officer. 4⭐️

#24in48 #24b4monday #readathon

Megabooks On #hoopla along with her new book Thick 12mo
Andrew65 A fantastic total. 👏🙌 12mo
Megabooks @Andrew65 Thank you! 12mo
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Megabooks
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Just passed the halfway point of #24in48 a little before the 24 hr mark. I‘m at around 17 hrs in the #24b4monday #readathon.

Lower Ed is fantastic. I‘d been looking for an academic book on for-profit colleges, and this is a great one! Not really the best readathon book but who cares!? 🤷🏻‍♀️🤣 Switching it up with Educated on audio and A Selfie as Big as the Ritz in print.

TheReadingMermaid Woohoo! 👍🏻👍🏻 12mo
mdhughes72 Why the interest in that topic? 12mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks 🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻 12mo
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Megabooks @TheReadingMermaid Thanks! 😊😊 12mo
Megabooks @mdhughes72 I saw a Frontline on it a few years ago. Actually, I think I‘ve seen two Frontlines. And I‘m interested in student loan debt. 12mo
Kaye ⭐️ 12mo
Megabooks @kaye 💕 12mo
Andrew65 Brilliant 🙌🙌🙌 12mo
Megabooks @Andrew65 🥰🥰😁 12mo
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tlmorgan
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Quiet cafe. Book. Tea. Jooooy

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KatieMM
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Lower Ed was the last non fiction to join my bedside pile of books read in 2017! I shouldn‘t have waited so long to read it!

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BillBlume
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Had a great time moderating tonight's Writing Show on writing for a small press at the Firehouse Theatre here in Richmond, VA. My panel (L-R) was Dana Louise Provo, Tressie McMillan Cottom, and Jean Huets. #RVA #AmWriting #WriterLife #WritersOfLitsy #JRW17

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misslisha3
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Picked this up from the library yesterday.