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Executive produced by news legend Dan Rather, FAIL STATE investigates the dark side of American higher education, chronicling the decades of policy decisions in Washington, D.C. that have given rise to a powerful and highly-predatory for-profit college industry. With echoes of the subprime mortgage crisis, the film lays bare how for-profit colleges exploit millions of low-income and minority students, leaving them with worthless degrees and drowning in student loan debt. Director Alexander Shebanow traces the rise, fall, and resurgence of the for-profit college industry, revealing its Wall Street Backing and the lawmakers enabling widespread fraud and abuse in American higher education.


Download press notes here. Download high-res film stills here.


‘Fail State’ Review: Schools That Don’t Make the Grade - The Wall Street Journal

How This Year's Docs Tapped Into the Volatile Political Climate - The Hollywood Reporter

'Phenomenally saddening': inside the sordid world of America's for-profit colleges - The Guardian

Documentary ‘Fail State’ a hard-hitting look at for-profit universities - San Francisco Chronicle

Review: Documentary 'Fail State' takes on predatory for-profit universities - The Los Angeles Times

'Fail State': Film Review - The Hollywood Reporter

Review: ‘Fail State’ - LA Weekly

Feinberg Forecast: Updated Oscar Projections As Wave of Top Contenders Are Released - The Hollywood Reporter

'Fail State' Trailer: Dan Rather-Exec Produced Doc Exposes For-Profit Colleges - The Hollywood Reporter

Maxine Waters chastises for-profit colleges and DeVos Leadership - The Hechinger Report

‘Fail State’ Among Nine Documentaries Acquired By Starz - Deadline

Why these veterans regret their for-profit college degrees — and debt - PBS News Hour

I Found My Voice In Community College - Forbes

‘Fail State’ Confronts For-Profits and Laments the Disinvestment in Publics - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Dan Rather on for-profit colleges: ‘It’s hard to find anything more outrageous than this’ - MarketWatch

Review: ‘Fail State’ Delves into the Shadowy World of For-Profit Colleges - The Texas Observer

‘Fail State’ - Inside Higher Ed