Directed by Andrew Rossi
90 min | 2014 | USA | PG-13
As tuition rates spiral beyond reach and student loan debt passes $1 trillion (more than credit card debt), Ivory Tower asks: Is college worth the cost? From the halls of Harvard, to public colleges in financial crisis, to Silicon Valley, filmmaker Andrew Rossi (Page One: Inside the New York Times) assembles an urgent portrait of a great American institution at the breaking point.
Through profiles at Arizona State, Cooper Union, and San Jose State—among several others—Ivory Tower reveals how colleges in the United States, long regarded as leaders in higher education, came to embrace a business model that often promotes expansion over quality learning. But along the way we also find unique programs, from Stanford to the free desert school, Deep Springs, to the historically black all women’s college, Spelman, where the potential for life-changing college experiences endure. Ultimately, Ivory Tower asks, What price will society pay if higher education cannot revolutionize college as we know it and evolve in to a sustainable economic model?