Columbia Film Graduates Carry $181,000 In Loans, Make Less Than $30,000 Per Year – JP


Columbia University film school graduates who took out federal student loans have a median debt of $181,000. Two years after graduation, however, half of the graduates are earning less than $30,000.

As The Wall Street Journal discovered using Department of Education data:

The Columbia program offers the most extreme example of how elite universities in recent years have awarded thousands of master’s degrees that don’t provide graduates enough early career earnings to begin paying down their federal student loans.

Recent Columbia film alumni had the highest debt compared with earnings among graduates of any major university master’s program in the U.S. … The New York City university is among the world’s most prestigious schools, and its $11.3 billion endowment ranks it the nation’s eighth wealthiest private school.

“There’s always those 2 a.m. panic attacks where you’re thinking, ‘How the hell am I ever going to pay this off?’” 29-year-old Zack Morrison told the outlet. Though his graduate school loan balance is $300,000, he earns between $30,000 and $50,000 per year from work as a Hollywood assistant.

Morrison is by no means alone. For graduates of Columbia’s film program, debt is typically six times higher than annual income. – READ MORE

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