Stephen Colbert “University” and the rise of for-profit higher education

Stephen Colbert has a great (as usual) piece on for-profit higher education. According to Colbert,

[T]he average college graduate earns twice as much as a person with only a high school degree, which in this current job market works out to…zero dollars.

And, of course, non-profit colleges don’t know anything about making money. So, we need to turn to for-profit institutions. Sure, they may use deceptive advertising and manipulative recruiting practices, but they’re profitable. And, students at online schools can stay in bed and attend classes looking like level 55 death knights. Bonus.

So, Colbert is going to open his own for-profit university, which is “open to anybody with an interent connection and a letter of recommendation from Benjamin Franklin or two letters from Ulysses S. Grant.” He proudly states that Stephen Colbert University is where “we put the U in ‘we make money off you.'”

He goes on to interview Andrew Hacker about his book Higher Education?: How Colleges Are Wasting Our Money and Failing Our Kids—and What We Can Do About It, who apparently thinks that college is good for teaching kids how to become good “middle class” citizens and to reason with the lower class people when they rise up and attack them with pitchforks.

(By the way, does anyone know if you can embed videos from Comedy Central in a blog?)

About Marc Cortez

Theology Prof and Dean at Western Seminary, husband, father, & blogger, who loves theology, church history, ministry, pop culture, books, and life in general.

Posted on August 27, 2010, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I saw this the other night. Genius and sad. I would have liked to have heard Hacker say more about college than that it “makes us properly middle-class.” He basically tipped his hand in conceding that college is a very-polished white-collar trade school, and not so much about cultivation of the student as a citizen or, well, human. But I’m a unkept, old philosophy major…what do I know!:-)

  2. Hi Marc: I’m Claudia Dreifus, Andrew Hacker’s writing and life partner. Guests on the Colbert Report are SUPPOSED TO BE the straight man or woman in the game. That’s their function.

    That said, if you’re thinking about higher education, you may find our book interesting. We hope you’ll take a look. We also have a website where we’re hoping to get some conversations going.

    Best, C.D.

  3. although online schools are good, i think we also need human interaction which we can only get from offline schools *~~

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