Indebted

How Families Make College Work at Any Cost
Narrated by: Kate Harper
Length: 7 hrs and 57 mins
4 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

How the financial pressures of paying for college affect the lives and well-being of middle-class families

The struggle to pay for college is one of the defining features of middle-class life in America today. At kitchen tables all across the country, parents agonize over whether to burden their children with loans or to sacrifice their own financial security by taking out a second mortgage or draining their retirement savings. Indebted takes listeners into the homes of middle-class families throughout the nation to reveal the hidden consequences of student debt and the ways that financing college has transformed family life. 

Caitlin Zaloom gained the confidence of numerous parents and their college-age children, who talked candidly with her about stressful and intensely personal financial matters that are usually kept private. In this remarkable book, Zaloom describes the profound moral conflicts for parents as they try to honor what they see as their highest parental duty - providing their children with opportunity - and shows how parents and students alike are forced to take on enormous debts and gamble on an investment that might not pay off. What emerges is a troubling portrait of an American middle class fettered by the "student finance complex" - the bewildering labyrinth of government-sponsored institutions, profit-seeking firms, and university offices that collect information on household earnings and assets, assess family needs, and decide who is eligible for aid and who is not. 

Superbly written and unflinchingly honest, Indebted breaks through the culture of silence surrounding the student debt crisis, revealing the unspoken costs of sending our kids to college.

©2019 Caitlin Zaloom (P)2019 Princeton University Press

Critic Reviews

"Zaloom’s comprehensive exposé of the college-financing industry argues that middle-class Americans are in an unresolvable bind: culturally mandated to ensure 'open futures' for their children, but unable to afford to do so without help, they become ensnared in risky, speculative debt. . . . The facts described here will be familiar to anyone who’s heard of the student-debt crisis; the analysis, with its emphasis on the moral dilemma facing middle-class families, will resonate with parents confronting it." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    4
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    4
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    4
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

A Missed Opportunity

The book was well written, impeccably researched, and discussed an interesting topic. However, instead of diving into the tragic economic consequences of school loans and the negative impact it has on productivity, the book focuses on the need for college as a necessary exploratory phase of life. I must be frank, college cannot simply be a place where you discover your individuality and interests at astronomical cost. The author neglects to investigate the need for student loans at all. I was hoping for more of a revelation and insight into this tragedy of predatory lending with a suggestion of meaningful alternatives.

1 person found this helpful