The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) has a great article about the risks of blindly pursuing any random master’s program at a prestigious university. Even at the top schools (the article linked above singles out Columbia University), some programs are going to have better ROIs than others. While Columbia medical school graduates and Columbia law school graduates fare very well when it comes to paying back their loans, the same can not be said for the film program graduates.
The WSJ article states the median debt for film program graduates is $181,000 yet about half of the graduates are earning less than $30,000 per year. The insightful article goes on to explain there is no limit on how much grad students can borrow in federal loans and how the schools receive the tuition upfront and therefore face no consequences if and when graduates struggle to repay their loans. While the short WSJ article focused more on Columbia’s film program, the same can be said for many other programs as well. If you are looking at a program where graduates don’t have high salaries, be very careful about how much you are willing to borrow!