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Fail U.

Fail U.

The False Promise of Higher Education

Charles J. Sykes

St. Martin's Press


The cost of a college degree has increased by 1,125% since 1978—four times the rate of inflation. Total student debt has surpassed $1.3 trillion. Nearly two thirds of all college students must borrow to study, and the average student graduates with more than $30,000 in debt. Many college graduates under twenty-five years old are unemployed or underemployed. And professors—remember them?—rarely teach undergraduates at many major universities, instead handing off their lecture halls to cheaper teaching assistants.

So, is it worth it? That’s the question Charles J. Sykes attempts to answer in Fail U., exploring the staggering costs of a college education, the sharp decline in tenured faculty and teaching loads, the explosion of administrative jobs, the grandiose building plans, and the utter lack of preparedness for the real world that many now graduates face. Fail U. offers a different vision of higher education; one that is affordable, more productive, and better-suited to meet the needs of a diverse range of students—and one that will actually be useful in their future careers and lives.



ON A BEAUTIFUL LATE spring day in Washington, DC, at a graduation ceremony at one of the nation’s better universities, a middle-aged couple sits...

Praise for Fail U.

"With telling statistics and piquant anecdotes...[Fail U. is] certain to stimulate a much-needed debate." --Booklist

"This is a book for our times and one of its most vexing problems."--Jack Fowler, Publisher, National Review

Fail U. stirs the higher education pot at a timely moment, raising a number of important issues for consideration by both academics and the general public.” –New York Journal of Books

Reviews from Goodreads

Charles J. Sykes

Charles J. Sykes is senior fellow at the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute and a talk show host at WTMJ radio in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. He is the author of several books including A Nation of Victims, Dumbing Down Our Kids, and Profscam, which The Wall Street Journal hailed as a "thorough debunking" of American higher education.

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Charles J. Sykes

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