The cost of a college degree has increased by 1,125% since 1978—four times the rate of inflation. Total student debt is $1.3 trillion. Many private universities charge tuitions ranging from $60-70,000 per year. Nearly 2/3 of all college students must borrow to study, and the average student graduates with more than $30,000 in debt. 53% of college graduates under 25 years old are unemployed or underemployed (working part-time or in low-paying jobs that do not require college degrees). Professors rarely teach undergraduates at many major universities. 76% of all university classes are taught by part-time, untenured faculty.
In Fail U., Charles J. Sykes asks, "Is it worth it?" With chapters exploring the staggering costs of a college education, the sharp decline in tenured faculty and teaching loads, the explosion of administrator jobs, the grandiose building plans (gyms, food courts, student recreation centers), and the hysteria surrounding the "epidemic" of campus rapes, "triggers," "micro-aggressions," and other forms of alleged trauma, Fail U. concludes by offering 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.
Provocative, persuasive, clear-eyed, and even amusing, Fail U. strips the academic emperor of its clothes to reveal the American university system as it really is—and how it must change.
“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
"Telling statistics and piquant anecdotes . . . a bold agenda for reform."—Booklist (starred review)
Reviews from Goodreads
INTRODUCTION: SCENES FROM A GRADUATION
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...