When national student-loan debt crested a trillion dollars in 2013, the think pieces came fast and furious—was higher education even worth it? Andrew Rossi’s excellent doc cools down the anti-intellectual rhetoric, weighing the real costs of crippling debt against the transformative power of learning. Ivory Tower goes to pricey Harvard and party school Arizona State; it considers sketchy online outsourcing and valid alternative classrooms. Best, it sits in on Cooper Union’s unrest, as students protest the adoption of tuition at a historically free institution. You feel for the potential Wesleyan parent who asks an administrator if his daughter is going to have to move home after graduating: His question is met with an uneasy pause. Crucial stuff.
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