Despite energetic conversations around stagnant wages and job creation, few consider that the financialization of America’s public corporations has contributed just as much to economic inequality as more commonly-cited factors. The debate seems well-settled: scholars point to globalization[1], skill-biased technical change[2], and the decline of union density[3]. Others point to the “rise of the robots”[4],

“Higher education” is a vague term. It describes a sector that is hardly uniform, with over 4,000 degree-granting institutions eligible for federal funding but serious disparities among them. A college education from one of these institutions continues to serve as a prerequisite to moving up the income ladder in our narrative about economic mobility. Yet,

New Report Outlines Higher Education’s $2.7 Billion ‘Debt Bomb’ in TIME: But it also has a real human cost – schools that are indebted and struggling to meet interest payments pass on those costs to students, which is one key reason that average per student debt has risen from $29,400 to $35,000 over the last

Education is the cornerstone of the American dream: Study hard, earn a degree, and your work will be rewarded. Lee Hall, a university professor who holds two law degrees, is still waiting for his rewards. Teaching five undergraduate and law school courses per semester, Hall makes an annual salary of $15,000—less than a pet-sitter, he

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Over the past month, college students across the county have explored how financialization affects their schools with a series of trainings led by Refund America, Hedge Clippers, LittleSis, and the Roosevelt Institute. As many students know, Wall Street firms make billions of dollars off of higher education every year through vehicles including toxic swaps and exorbitant

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One of the standout features of our increasingly financialized economy is a systemic disinvestment in public goods such as infrastructure and education. As the finance sector hoards the wealth our economy produces, wages stagnate, corporations and the wealthy avoid contributing their rightful share in taxes, and money and power coalesces at the top, revenues at

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Higher Education is in a state of crisis. And, the influence of the financial sector in higher education has worked to increase social and economic inequalities, instead of serving as the equalizer we have long imagined colleges to be. Financialization has a number of disturbing consequences for higher education, including increases in overall borrowing by colleges

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With the fall semester underway at American University in Washington, D.C., students are starting new classes, making new friends, and joining new clubs. Most of these students will pay over $43,000 this year in tuition and fees, and collectively their payments will account for nearly four-fifths of the school’s operating budget. But a sizable portion

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Students Over Swaps Infographic

Higher education in the U.S. is in a state of crisis. We see evidence of this crisis in huge cuts in funding for public schools, skyrocketing costs of attendance at both private and public schools, and increases in student debt burdens. You can find the executive summary and full report here.

Higher education in the U.S. is in a state of crisis. We see evidence of this crisis in huge cuts in funding for public schools, skyrocketing costs of attendance at both private and public schools, and increases in student debt burdens. Financialization has a number of disturbing consequences for higher education, including increases in overall