Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy


by Tressie McMillan Cottom

“The best book yet on the complex lives and choices of for-profit students.” The New York Times Book Review

Lower Ed is quickly becoming the definitive book on the fastest-growing sector of higher education at the turn of the twenty-first century: for-profit colleges. With sharp insight and deliberate acumen, Tressie McMillan Cottom―a sociologist who was once a recruiter at two for-profit colleges―expertly parses the fraught dynamics of this big-money industry.

Drawing on more than one hundred interviews with students, employees, executives, and activists, Lower Ed details the benefits, pitfalls, and real costs of the expansion of for-profit colleges. Now with a new foreword by Stephanie Kelton, economic advisor to Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign, this smart and essential book cuts to the very core of our nation’s broken social contracts and the challenges we face in our divided, unequal society.

Paperback | 240 pages | The New Press; Reprint edition | 2018

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