WATCH: John Oliver Exposes Sham of For-Profit Colleges

A whopping seven out of 10 college students graduated from college last year saddled with debt. As John Oliver reveals in last night’s segment, student debt has tripled in the last decade alone, leaving hundreds of thousands of young people paying back loans before they even land their first job.

As Oliver put it, “Essentially, student debt is like HPV. If you go to college, you’re almost certainly going to get it. And if you do, it will follow you for the rest of your life.”

Oliver spends the bulk of the program exposing the misleading tactics of for-profit universities like DeVry University and ITT. These institutions account for 30% of national college loans, even though their students only make up 14% of the total higher education population. The schools prey on low-income and disenfranchised communities, offering them subpar educations at exorbitant prices.

Pointing to the shocking low graduation rates, Oliver says the majority of students “would have been better off studying engineering at Hogwarts because at least that way they’ll have a fucking owl to show for it.”

Check out the full clip below. 

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.