Ivory Tower

Ivory Tower

By Andrew Rossi

  • Genre: Andrew Rossi
  • Release Date: 2014-06-13
  • Advisory Rating: PG-13
  • Runtime: 1h 30min
  • Director: Andrew Rossi
  • Production Company: Participant Media
  • iTunes Price: USD 9.99
  • iTunes Rent Price: USD 3.99
From 16 Ratings


Is college worth the cost? Groundbreaking filmmaker Andrew Rossi (Page One: Inside the New York Times) asks the critical question about the value of higher education, revealing how colleges have come to embrace a business model that often promotes expansion over quality learning. With escalating tuition rates and student-loan debt now over the one trillion dollar mark, the once-great American institution is at a breaking point. Ivory Tower explores the current education crisis from the halls of Harvard, to community colleges, to online learning, providing an astonishing look at the university landscape.




  • Amazing Documentary

    By Lepointe
    Being a teacher at a for-profit school, I go day in and day out looking into the eyes of kids unaware of the debt they will leave college with (a debt I once had and lived with) and I do my best to get them their money’s worth with compassion and excitement. Although I’ve adopted the hybrid Online/Personal Mentorship, I sometimes wonder if the price tag is worth it.
  • Helpful for New Times

    By rain or shine 2014
    This film doesn't provides "the answer" but fulfills a wonderful educational goal -- framing questions, encouraging discussion and further review. I'm grateful this was produced. The future, with worldwide markets, resources, competition and knowledge is, of course, unknown. This film helps illuminate some of the competing waves that will play out in both education, politics and the workplace. Thank you.
  • Missed Many Major Points

    By FoodAllergicQueen
    While it was overall a good documentary, I think it missed the major points that many of these mid-tier and lower tier schools are not even worth going to in the first place, since they don’t offer competitive job placement post-graduation to their graduates like the top tier schools do. On top of that, their students will be more than $100K in debt, and likely never pay that debt off. Frankly, I don’t think it paid enough attention to the fact that there are more and more students going to colleges that won’t be able to offer the opportunities promised to their students (or the students wish for or see on TV, or see their Harvard level colleagues achieving). Interesting, but also quite delusional as well.
  • Missed the big picture

    By Preacher25
    The movie had some ideas but none seemed to be developed to the point of building a case that colleges need to provide value and opportunity rather than endless worthless programs and cultural enrichment. The movie drones on about rising college costs without offering the perspective of relating this to job availability or income. In simplest terms if the "investment" in college (whatever the cost may be) were to pay off in terms of landing great upwardly mobile better lifestyle jobs then it would be worth it. However, the truth is most leave undergrad without any tangible skill sets or experience that are going to wow employers and make them open their wallets wider. The question is: could tuition be better spent in another way to further ones life (such as buying a home, starting a business, or simply not starting out life saddled with back breaking debt). These are the deeper issues I would have wanted to see this movie build up to.
  • Reviews here miss a salient point

    By Cdorschel
    The U.S. is one of the few first world nations that cost mid-6 figures just for a university degree, more for a masters, PhD or MD. This crucial point is that other nations invest in higher education for their citizens in order to create a competitive, global work force instead of a nation that can’t afford the investment in order to create a better life for themselves and their country. We’re only as strong as our weakest link, and thankfully I have had the benefit in being raised in and experiencing life in other nations, especially those that hold higher education as a right, not a privilege. Until this truth hits the U.S. in the head, things will worsen and we’ll become a land of customer service for tourists rather than an equal opportunity chance at the lost “American Dream”. Wake up!
  • Things left unsaid

    By tafitzwilliam
    One point I would have liked seen covered more is the opinion of those recent graduates who are in or out of the workforce. To hear them speak on their own experiences about being unemployed/underemployed/gainfully employed as it correlated to the value of their education (such as price paid vs. usefulness of courses taken) would have been beneficial. I've seen in my own work environment that a lot of fresh graduates have no or few transferable skills for the current job market. For example: when an engineering major is more or less forced to take an elective course in, say comparative literature, seems to me a waste of money, when it would behoove a student more to have takn a course in something like how to properly construct an Excel Spreadsheet. Most people would be amazed at the simple things some recent grads simply can't do.