John Oliver tackles US student debt, for-profit PSE institutions

September 12, 2014

Comedian John Oliver recently addressed the topic of US student debt on his HBO show Last Week Tonight. Oliver says that cuts to education funding at the state level have forced colleges to raise fees, compelling students to seek additional loans. Oliver points the finger at for-profit colleges, which charge as much as 5 or 6 times the cost of a community college. For that money, Oliver says, students do not necessarily receive a better education, as much of the money is used for non-academic purposes. He includes a clip in which a former University of Phoenix Director says that for-profits spend twice as much on advertising and marketing as they do on faculty salaries. Oliver’s report also takes to task the aggressive sales tactics of for-profit college recruiters, their targeting of veterans, their graduation rates, and their employment outcomes. He also addresses the for-profit sector’s lobbying efforts, and asks viewers to write to complain  to the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities (APSCU) with a humourous form letter. YouTube