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College Inc. (full documentary)

15 Jun 2022
FRONTLINE follows the money to uncover how Wall Street and a breed of for-profit universities transformed the way we think about college in America. (Aired 2010)

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In “College, Inc.,” correspondent Martin Smith investigates the promise and explosive growth of the for-profit higher education industry. Through interviews with school executives, government officials, admissions counselors, former students, and industry observers, the documentary explores the tension between the industry — which says it's helping an underserved student population obtain a quality education and marketable job skills — and critics who charge the for-profits with churning out worthless degrees that leave students with a mountain of debt. At the center of it all stands a vulnerable population of potential students, often working adults eager for a university degree to move up the career ladder.

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FRONTLINE is produced at GBH in Boston and is broadcast nationwide on PBS. Funding for FRONTLINE is provided through the support of PBS viewers and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Additional funding is provided by the Abrams Foundation; the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; Park Foundation; the Heising-Simons Foundation; and the FRONTLINE Journalism Fund with major support from Jon and Jo Ann Hagler on behalf of the Jon L. Hagler Foundation, and additional support from Koo and Patricia Yuen.

Prologue - 00:00
Wall Street and Higher Education - 00:52
The For-Profit University Business Model - 07:07
How For-Profit Colleges Sell Themselves - 16:27
What It Takes To Revive A Failing College - 27:08
Corinthian and Students in Debt - 34:01
Lobbying Against Tougher Regulations - 46:15
Credits - 52:34
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