The Impoverishment of the American College Student



higher education, finance, student loan debt


The Impoverishment of the American College Student is a recommended text for anyone hoping to gain insight on the current state of higher education finance in the United States. In particular, it provides a rich analysis of the mind-numbing quantity of student loan debt. Koch offers much more than a description and explanation of the situation, though. He is also critiquing the actors and actions that maintain an ecosystem in which this is made possible. He states, “Mainstream higher education organizations actively propagate such views, which are oft-repeated in higher education circles, because they largely excuse institutions from significant blame for most of the affordability and student debt problems that clearly do exist” (p. 213). This book serves as a call to action for leaders in higher education to enact serious and sustainable organizational change to ensure that higher education is equitable for all.


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Author Biography

Jacob Kelley, Auburn University

Jacob Kelley is a PhD student in the Department of Educational Foundations, Leadership, and Technology at Auburn University. He uses qualitative and quantitative methods to examine the complexities of adult learning in multiple contexts. In particular, he focuses on three constructs relevant to adult learning: effectiveness, engagement, and equity. His other interests are social change, international students, civic education, and program evaluation. His scholarship has been published in New Directions for Teaching and Learning, Journal of Effective Teaching in Higher Education, Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Education, and Journal of Educational Thought. He currently works in the Biggio Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning at Auburn University. E-mail:

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How to Cite

Kelley, J. (2023). The Impoverishment of the American College Student. Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Education, 12(SI), 91–94. Retrieved from