If your parents told you to go to film schoolâ¦ they were up to something.
According to a the Wall Street newspaper Analysis of Department of Education data, film alumni at Columbia University in New York City had the highest debt compared to the earnings of graduates of any master’s degree program in the United States. income and loan repayments for up to two years after graduation.
One problem could be with the university itself. Columbia is the eighth richest private school in the country, with an endowment of $ 11.3 billion – and yet it doesn’t seem to be doing enough to help its graduates. While keeping tuition fees mostly flat for undergraduates and providing significant financial assistance to low-income students, the university has increased the fees for its various master’s programs.
âThere’s always those panic attacks at 2am where you’re like, ‘How the hell am I going to pay for this? “”, as Zack Morrison, 29, a 2018 Master of Fine Arts in filmmaking from Columbia, told the Newspaper. According to the newspaper, his loan balance is nearly $ 300,000, including accrued interest. But he only earns between $ 30,000 and $ 50,000 a year working as an assistant in Hollywood while doing side concerts.
The high loan numbers are in part due to a quirk of the federal Grad PLUS program, where there is no set limit on how much graduate students can borrow. The interest rate for this loan is currently set at 6.28%.
- Publishing students at New York University borrowed an average of $ 116,000, but only had a median annual income of $ 42,000 two years after the program.
- Students who graduated from 14 of Columbia’s 32 master’s programs who borrowed money had loans in excess of their annual income two years after graduation.
- In relatively good news, a graph from seven Ivy League universities showed that a majority of students had income above debt after two years, especially for graduates from Yale, Harvard and Cornell.
Still, Columbia appears to be a big outlier within this group. And while the administration offered only vague promises of financial aid in the article, some Columbia faculty members are keenly aware of the student loan problem. As Christian Parker, a faculty member at the Columbia Theater Department and former head of the department, noted, âI have never been to a faculty reunion across the school where this has happened. not been addressed and where faculty have not championed and agitated this issue at the top of the dean’s leadership priority list.
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