Tressie McMillan Cottom is an associate professor of sociology at Virginia Commonwealth University and the author of Thick. Her work has been featured by The Daily Show, the New York Times, the Washington Post, PBS, NPR, Fresh Air, and The Atlantic, among others. She lives in Richmond, Virginia.
Praise for Lower Ed
"The best book yet on the complex lives and choices of for-profit students."
--The New York Times Book Review
"Cottom does a good job of making the name Lower Ed
stick, and she makes a solid case for reviewing the entire system
of higher education for openness of opportunity."
--Kirkus Reviews "In Lower Ed McMillan Cottom is at her very best--rigorous, incisive, empathetic, and witty. . . . Her sharp intelligence, throughout, makes this book compelling, unforgettable, and deeply necessary."
--Roxane Gay, author of Difficult Women and Bad Feminist "Lower Ed is brilliant. It is nuanced, carefully argued, and engagingly written. It is a powerful, chilling tale of what happens when profit-driven privatization of a public good latches on to systemic inequality and individual aspirations."
--Carol Anderson, author of White Rage and professor of African American studies at Emory University "This book is a must-read for anyone interested in the market forces currently transforming higher education. It is an eye-opening portrait of this burgeoning educational sector and the ways in which its rapid expansion is linked to skyrocketing inequality and growing labor precarity in the twenty-first-century United States."
--Ruth Milkman, past president of the American Sociological Association "In a sea of simplistic and often bombastic critiques of American higher education, Tressie McMillan Cottom's trenchant analysis of Lower Ed stands out. As the Trump administration moves to make life ever easier for the nation's for-profit colleges, this book offers the most powerful form of resistance--detailed storytelling of the causes and consequences of this big-money industry. Anyone frustrated with high college prices, student debt, or the diminishing sense of hope surrounding so many communities needs to read this book."
--Sara Goldrick-Rab, author of Paying the Price and professor of higher education policy at Temple University "With passion, eloquence, and data too, McMillan Cottom charts the harm we are doing to our youth, to higher education, and to democracy itself."
--Cathy N. Davidson, author of Now You See It and founding director of the Futures Initiative at the City University of New York "[A] profound examination of the role of for-profit colleges in the emerging, 'new' American economic landscape. This is the best book I've read on for-profit (or shareholder) colleges and universities."
--William A. Darity Jr., professor of economics, public policy, and African American studies at Duke University