Scholarslip: A documentary about the student debt crisis

Determined to speak up about America’s crumbling higher education system, three students at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism rallied the voices of an indebted generation. The trio of aspiring journalists—Alex Lancial, Tara Molina and Jake Stein— produced a documentary entitled “Scholarslip”. The 26-minute production examines the student debt crisis in the United States and delves into issues local to Arizona. Illustrated through the voices of student debtors as well as university and government policymakers, “Scholarslip” explores five critical issues: increasing costs of tuition; deteriorating quality of higher education; diminishing value of a college degree in the job market; student dependence on state and federal financial assistance; and the effects on personal lives and aspirations. Lancial, Molina and Stein entered and documented the lives of three university students, each experiencing different personal and financial struggles yet sharing a common desire to pursue a college degree. Also featured are testimonies from John Kavanaugh, a representative in the Arizona legislature; Kent Hopkins, the Vice Provost of Enrollment at Arizona State University; and Natalia Abrams, a co-founder of Student Debt Crisis and Occupy Colleges. “Scholarslip” presents a generation under siege, challenging a seemingly out-of-control system that is sending millions into interminable debt.

Alex Lancial: Director of Photography, Graphics Editor, Assistant Editor, Videographer, Assistant Producer
Tara Molina: Producer, Assistant Director, Assistant Editor, Videographer
Jake Stein: Director, Editor, Videographer, Assistant Producer


24 thoughts on “Scholarslip: A documentary about the student debt crisis

  1. People talk about education as if the only way to get it is from college.
    This is 2014 we have internet,computers,books,mentor.

  2. The question no one is asking is how did we get to this point? 30 years
    ago, a university education was pricey but affordable for most middle-class
    families. There were no such thing as student loans before the 80s and in
    some states like Missouri, tuition was free for in-state students who
    attended public institutions. What has happened since then? A university
    education should not just be for the wealthy like it was 100 years ago.
    This is scandalous.

  3. If anyone who watches this is thinking “This isn’t my problem”, then
    consider this; many of these students will not be able to afford a house
    and many other items and will have to cut back on many expenditures. How
    does this affect you? It’s the middle class that keeps the economy going.
    Two-thirds of our economy is based on middle-class spending. If these
    people can’t afford to buy big-ticket items, the companies that make and
    sell these items will have fewer sales which means that those companies
    will not employ as many people. Maybe some of you used to work for these
    companies. Why aren’t you there anymore? Why did those companies lay you
    off? Why did their profits decrease? This may be one reason.

  4. Here is my question to College students, both graduated or planing on going
    to college… if the Numbers do not add up… WHY GO TO COLLEGE?, I went to
    a trade school, started at the bottom at a company and trained my way up to
    where i am now, and still growing with the Company paying for my school and
    training. I am not the rule or the exception, I am where I want to be, But,
    if you spend so much money for a career that is not there or the chances of
    getting there are so small, then why do it?

  5. How does the interest work out on the US student loans? does the debt get
    bigger if you’re not paying it off?

    In the UK its an interest free loan and you only start paying it back once
    you earn a certain amount a year.
    If you never do its just written off and the tax payer pays the bill which
    pisses me off since I never went to Uni/College.

    Although I don’t think its quite as bad in the UK as it is in the US, we
    still have the same problems of people going to Uni to do an obviously
    pointless degree, to rack up loads of debt, and to come out looking for a
    job that doesn’t exist.

    I blame the high schools for not letting students know what the reality is.

  6. I think the first time I realized college was a complete waste for me is
    during my last semester while obtaining my associates degree. My
    environmental science teacher literally gave grades based off of people’s
    looks and how much they chatted with him in class. This was not listed in
    the syllabus in any form, it showed homework, tests and quiz’s are what
    amounted to your grade in the class. I received an A on every single piece
    of work in the class and do you know what my final grade was in the class?
    Freaking C! On the other hand there was a girl who sat next to me, never
    came to class, never did any of the paperwork and failed all of the tests
    and received an A. Now this girl was an EXTREMELY good looking girl and
    honestly it made me feel that something like that had something to do with
    it. I’m honestly not trying to be “that guy” about things but there is no
    other possible explanation for the grades to end up this way. I went to the
    president of college about this and he literally silenced my voice and
    swept everything under the rug, and basically told me that teacher was
    having emotional problems and that they will look further into it. Here I
    am spending thousands of dollars a year, doing well on all of the material,
    and I get treated unfairly because the teacher couldn’t leave his problems
    at home? Or it was because he had some boner for the attractive girl in my
    class? This was one of the main reasons why I got my degree and never went
    back ever again. I’m working a crappy retail job now, but I tell ya, it’s
    more grown up than all that bullshit you put up with higher education. 

  7. you people will never learn. you CAN afford college education without going
    through debt. there are ways to do it if you do your research. but what if
    you can’t afford it no matter what you do? then you go to cheaper college
    and take out a small amount of loan that you KNOW you can pay for within
    few years. UNLESS you are going to be a doctor or a lawyer, you don’t
    really need to go to good school. yes, you are going to be competing with
    other kids who went to better schools but guess what? they are swimming in
    the ocean of debt of over 50k or even 100k. they will sacrifice their life
    trying to pay all of that. in other words, DEBT IS SLAVERY.

  8. There are plenty of options to get a college education for free or little
    cost. To get these education benefits you could join the military, have a
    high GPA coming out of high school, apply for scholarships, get financial
    aid, and etc.

  9. Six Months of college
    And I am $ 12.000 dollars in Debt
    Berkeley college
    I didn’t know what to do
    Until a navy recruiter walked up to
    And told me I can join the navy and they will clear my debt

  10. The whole “out-of-state tuition” program needs to be outlawed. It’s just
    another excuse to rip people off and if illegal immigrants don’t have to
    pay it why should a student from a neighboring state have to? Who’s getting
    all that extra money at three and four times the in-state costs? That is
    utter bullshit.

    If “Gerardo” and his sisters are here illegally they needs to be deported
    and banned for life along with all of his family members. Illegal
    immigrants steal so much opportunity from Americans and then turn around
    and victimize us at the same time. It’s not our fault that people who come
    here illegally working our broken systems were born in a different country.
    Stop making excuses! If journalists were to bother doing their jobs they’d
    actually tell people the truth instead of outright lying to everyone!
    Americans are subsidizing these criminals at the expense of their own
    future and if anyone says anything about enforcing laws then you’re branded
    a racist and a xenophobe while the actual racist xenophobes use children as
    human shields to avoid deportation.

  11. somehow sad. US pulls awful results in global education comparison despite
    beeing so overly expensive. same goes for healthcare.

  12. The worst part of all this is that when the economy goes down the tank
    again in the next year or two, a lot of the “lucky ones” we think of now
    who are paying their loans off are going to get downsized. First In First

  13. Education should be for those who want and can learn, not for those who can
    pay. Universities should have entering exams, you pass – you study, and
    the State is paying. You repay by working, by being a doctor, engineer etc.
    A developed country needs a lot of professionals. It may sound naive, but
    education should not be about money.

  14. Don’t overlook the fact that since the days of say the late 70s, early 80s
    the world’s workforce has expanded by some 2 BILLION workers! The good old
    days of study, work, home and family are long over… Someone can be
    brought in to do your job who doesn’t mind living out of a car! 

  15. You can work at McDonald’s flipping hamburgers, but nobody can take away
    your education!!! Lmfao!

  16. Everything that anybody can possibly learn are in books and in the net. You
    don’t have to pay to learn them. If you can’t learn 90% of what you want to
    learn on your own, then there is no point going to college to learn it.
    You’d still not be able to learn it. For the other 10% you have a lifetime
    to do it. Tertiary education is obsolete. Schools now are not the only
    centers of learning. 

  17. I am planning on going to a private religious based college in eastern
    Kansas (but not pursuing a religious degree they have other degrees as
    well) but I am planning on going there and they provide students from there
    and even out of state students a free full tuition scholarship to students
    who live on campus, It may be kind of hard to get in, but I’m looking for a
    job and I can work and go to school and the rest I would have to pay is
    only $890 which is pretty good and they accept financial aid, so I want to
    go there and earn my associates in general studies and transfer to a four
    year school and not use any type of loans and take it from there 

  18. God After watching this, I think State of Tamilnadu in India has better
    system. if your are first member in the family to attend the collage your
    fees will be paid by the State Government. And 70% of the Collage and
    Univeristy seats will be filled by Merit based Government Quota system. 

  19. “No one should go broke because they chose to go to college.” Yes, there
    are people that should go broke…they’re called liberal arts majors. If
    you cannot finance your worthless degree (i.e., no market demand for it)
    without a loan, then you shouldn’t be going to college.

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