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Inside the terminal MA scam


NYU has been at the cutting edge of winner-take-all profit-taking in academia for a while. But those seven-figure salaries and free apartments don’t pay for themselves! A lavish Manhattan lifestyle means somebody is paying up, and one prominent set of marks students are those paying a lot of money for mostly worthless terminal master’s degrees:

  • NYU skimped on scholarships for needy undergraduates. During the past school year, NYU covered about 62% of undergraduates’ financial need, on average. That was the lowest percentage of any private school with at least a $1 billion endowment that publishes the figures.
  • As a result, parents of NYU undergraduates often relied on Plus loans to cover costs. Parents of 2018 and 2019 NYU bachelor’s degree recipients who took out Parent Plus loans borrowed a median $74,000, according to the most recent data. That’s more than at 99% of four-year colleges in the U.S. for which federal data are available.
  • For NYU’s graduate students, the university’s advanced degrees often don’t pay off. In 40 out of 49 programs, NYU graduate students who took out federal loans borrowed more than they earned two years out of school. By that measure, NYU had more graduate programs with high debt loads than any other U.S. university with published data. The debt and earnings figures are medians for 2015 and 2016 graduates, the most recent data from the Education Department.
  • Many NYU programs were the worst by that calculation. In 15 graduate programs—including music, international relations and education—NYU ranked highest among U.S. universities with published data in terms of debt loads compared with early-career earnings.

But don’t worry — they’re addressing these problems with some proactive new paradigms!

Many of its solutions to making NYU more affordable put the burden on the students to pinch pennies or find more funds. Among the university’s suggestions: Finish school faster; sign up for a website to find babysitting gigs; live with a senior citizen; eat fewer meals.

These whiny, entitled students today, blowing money on needless luxuries like “food” and “rent.” I mean, do they think the Associate Vice Provost for Dynamic Corporate Synergies can get by with a time share in the Hamptons rather than a beach home suitable for entertaining? Let’s keep out priorities straight here.

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