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Fri Jul 9, 2021, 03:47 AM

Columbia Univ masters film program grads. Median debt $181K, media salary $30K

‘Financially Hobbled for Life’: The Elite Master’s Degrees That Don’t Pay Off
Columbia and other top universities push master’s programs that fail to generate enough income for graduates to keep up with six-figure federal loans


Recent film program graduates of Columbia University who took out federal student loans had a median debt of $181,000.

Yet two years after earning their master’s degrees, half of the borrowers were making less than $30,000 a year.




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“There’s always those 2 a.m. panic attacks where you’re thinking, ‘How the hell am I ever going to pay this off?’ ” said 29-year-old Zack Morrison, of New Jersey, who earned a Master of Fine Arts in film from Columbia in 2018 and praised the quality of the program. His graduate school loan balance now stands at nearly $300,000, including accrued interest. He has been earning between $30,000 and $50,000 a year from work as a Hollywood assistant and such side gigs as commercial video production and photography.

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Matt Black graduated from Columbia in 2015 with an MFA in film and $233,000 in federal loans. He signed up for an income-based repayment plan that in leaner years requires no remittance from him. With interest, his balance stands at $331,000.

Mr. Black, a 36-year-old writer and producer in Los Angeles, said he grew up in a lower middle-class family in Oklahoma. He earns $60,000 in a good year and less than half that in dry stretches. The faculty at Columbia was stellar, he said, but he blamed the school for his “calamitous financial situation.”

https://www.wsj.com/articles/financially-hobbled-for-life-the-elite-masters-degrees-that-dont-pay-off-11625752773?mod=latest_headlines



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Reply Columbia Univ masters film program grads. Median debt $181K, media salary $30K (Original post)
Demovictory9 Jul 9 OP
Indykatie Jul 9 #1
brooklynite Jul 9 #2
MineralMan Jul 9 #15
Klaralven Jul 9 #3
oasis Jul 9 #4
Greybnk48 Jul 9 #5
edhopper Jul 9 #6
cinematicdiversions Jul 9 #7
edhopper Jul 9 #8
cinematicdiversions Jul 9 #9
kcr Jul 9 #10
BannonsLiver Jul 9 #11
BuddhaGirl Jul 9 #12
GregariousGroundhog Jul 9 #14
Yavin4 Jul 9 #13

Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Fri Jul 9, 2021, 04:44 AM

1. WTF? How Are You Even Allowed to Borrow This Much to Obtain a Bachelors + Masters Arts Degree?

At the risk of sounding nasty, why does anyone think it makes sense to borrow $200K or $300K for a fine arts degree to make $30K -$60K a year. They should blame themselves and not the school for their calamitous financial situations. Should tax payers really be asked to cancel all student debt?

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Response to Indykatie (Reply #1)

Fri Jul 9, 2021, 05:34 AM

2. Answer: they don't think they'll make 30-50K a year...

First, very few people evaluate what the salary range of their chosen profession will be when in college. Second, they imagine that, with their elite college degress, they'll be the one raking in 100K a year.

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #2)

Fri Jul 9, 2021, 01:10 PM

15. Yes, just like college football players.

They all think they're going to end up with an NFL contract. Very few actually do, though, and the slide-through education they got while in college only qualifies them to be insurance or car salesmen.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Fri Jul 9, 2021, 07:47 AM

3. Zack needs to start making conspiracy theory videos on social media and gain a following

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Fri Jul 9, 2021, 08:59 AM

4. Ouch!

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Fri Jul 9, 2021, 09:59 AM

5. They wouldn't be able to buy a house for $180k, if their salary was $30k or less,

why are they permitted to borrow so much? This ends up as indentured slavery. It's sick.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Fri Jul 9, 2021, 10:22 AM

6. I am sorry

But Columbia is an elite Ivy League school. No one makes you go to a $60,000 a year college.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #6)

Fri Jul 9, 2021, 10:44 AM

7. Shhh. You are ruining the narrative.

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Response to cinematicdiversions (Reply #7)

Fri Jul 9, 2021, 10:47 AM

8. I think the cost of public colleges

Is outrageous, but this isn't part of that argument.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #8)

Fri Jul 9, 2021, 10:51 AM

9. I agree.

I doubt many of those students actually took out loans for that amount between scholarships and mommy and daddy.

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Response to cinematicdiversions (Reply #7)

Fri Jul 9, 2021, 10:52 AM

10. Which narrative would that be?

The narrative that tells us only the top-tier college degrees will lead to success? The whole reason parents with means do everything possible to get their kids into those colleges, including risking jail? Gee, why would anyone go to a school like that?

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Fri Jul 9, 2021, 12:24 PM

11. "Hi, I'm Matt Black."

“And even though I’m relatively young, I’ve made terrible financial decisions that will haunt me for years to come.”

These people are morons. And it’s hard to believe there are folks here who want the federal government to write off the debt for people like Matt. Fuck that noise.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Fri Jul 9, 2021, 12:31 PM

12. These elite universities have huge

endowments, right? They should finance education at their institutions. I think Stanford has started doing that, if I'm not mistaken.

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Response to BuddhaGirl (Reply #12)

Fri Jul 9, 2021, 12:57 PM

14. Yeah, and most people don't pay the lists price at those universities

University will usually take a small part of their endowment every year (depending on market conditions, but usually about four or five percent) and use it to fund various initiatives. A significant chunk of that money taken will be used to fund scholarships and grants for students who meet certain criteria. Students are more like to receive larger awards if they are academically gifted, come from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, are from an underrepresented ethnicity, and who express interest in fields of study that are difficult to recruit for.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Fri Jul 9, 2021, 12:51 PM

13. Film schools are perfect examples of our continued misuse of higher academia

Yes, art programs should exist in higher academia, but they should be for people who want to TEACH art, not practitioners. If your goal is to become a film maker or an artist, you don't need to borrow $180K. Just create art.

Heck, you can use your cell phone and post your movies to YouTube for free. If you're good, you will get more work. See Issa Rae.

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