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The Scholarslip: A Documentary about the Student Debt Crisis is created by Alex Lancial, Tara Molina, and Jake Stein. Together with the authorities, experts, and students, they have discussed the growing student loans and costs of tuition while the quality and value of higher education are decreasing. Furthermore, they raised the question whether entering a college is a good investment into their future. As it appeared, it is a debt, which they will be settling for a few decades after graduation. This documentary is a call for action to reform the student loan policy and rearrange the usage of the tuition payments.
Every message has its recipient. To identify who is the audience of this documentary one needs to define its message. This video is about the risks of taking the student loans and the consequences to which the pursuit of the college degree may lead. Furthermore, the information is delivered by the students or graduates who are the members of the indebted generation. Therefore, this documentary is intended for the high school graduates and the those who are willing to go to college. Moreover, it is essential for the audience to relate to the вЂњvictimsвЂќ in order to perceive the message of the video most effectively. All students have different personal and financial struggles; however, they have one common aim вЂ“ to obtain a college degree. The cast of this documentary rallies the voices of all debtors and cautions those who want to receive the higher education.
The three studentsвЂ™ personal accounts of their experience with the student loans successfully convinced the audience and created an emotional response. Furthermore, their emotionally charged stories were supported with short statements by other graduates or undergraduates, whose stories were even more intense because they were struggling with their debts for years. The directors reinforced the studentsвЂ™ stories with the statements of experts and authorities, who persuaded the audience by reason. Their goal was to draw attention to the growing cost of education and student loans which reached one trillion dollars. The personal accounts of the ordinary students, with whom the audience can associate, combined with the facts provided by experts is a particularly efficient way to present the information.
At the beginning of the short film, the directors featured the testimonies by the authorities and the episodes from the news channels and shows. Ron Paul, the representative of Texas on the Republican Presidential debate, stated that the policy of student loans is a failure since there is a trillion of dollars of the debt. Later a lady on a TV show articulated the solution to the problem by saying that colleges need to show what they are doing with tuition and tax payments. Ron Brownstein, the editorial director of the National Journal, said that now the nation has a potentially lost economic generation. His assertion was supported by the representative on the Republican Presidential debate, who said that the average debt of the college senior is over twenty-five thousand dollars. Consequently, for years, they will be forced to work to repay their loans. The President Barak Obama concluded the presentation of the pressing problem with the statement that no one should go broke because they chose to go to college. The introduction showed the issue on the national scale while the middle part shifted to the personal stories of the three students and comments by the experts.
Kavanaugh accounts are the substantial source of concrete data in the video. He started by asking the question that bothers most of the students, especially if they pay for their education from their own pocket. The question was whether the students get back their money they put into education. Then he provided the data onthe increase of the tutition cost during the last 30 years. However, the ratio of professors to students stayed the same. In case of building the fitness center, Kavanaugh showed that universities became the factories that produce diplomas, not the establishments where people get knowledge. Furthermore, he said where the tuition payment goes вЂ“ to pay the salary for the administrators who decide to build new facilities. Moreover, he exposed the irrationality of such investments. His statement recollects and connects to AbramвЂ™s assertion that students want an education as cheap as possible. No one wishes to pay for the things that do not improve the quality of schooling. Alicia articulated the statement that concludes everything said above by saying that it would be a better campus not because it is well-equipped but because of smart people.
As Kavanaugh said, everyone should understand what they are getting into and with what they are going to leave. Things have changed since the sixties; college is no more the ticket to prosperity. Consequently, the directors interviewed the students and experts to make everyone understand the risks and outcomes of investing into the college degree. In my opinion, the directors did an excellent work choosing the experts such as a co-founder of Student Debt Crisis, a representative in the Arizona legislature or the Vice Provost of Enrollment at Arizona State University. Their positions make their statements more trustworthy and reliable. Furthermore, they were able to support their claims with the figures and striking examples. Moreover, the personal stories of the three students, who are currently dealing with their student loans,, enhanced the credibility of the film even more.
It is not only the fault of the government and college authorities; it is also the problem of the students and the members of the indebted generation. The victims said nothing about their loans till it became impossible to repay. There is a constant struggle for democracy and equality; no one should expect that government will come and solve their problems. Everyone is responsible for their own lives. Therefore, they should resolve their problem by themselves or gather and make changes together. However, the documentary puts the responsibility on the college administrators, the government, and student loan policy. Nonetheless, no one discussed the problem until it reached the critical point. In my opinion, the bias in this film is more covert since it blamed mostly the leadership of the college or the government policy.
Throughout this short film, the creators used visual and music aids, enhancing the credibility of the message they wanted to convey. The documentary starts with the melody from the Shot in the Head by Moby. The song has the repeating synthesizer and a drum pattern and helps to attract attention to the issue. Among the statements of authorities, ordinary students, and experts, the directors featured the graphics, statistics, and historical facts. The charts were easy to understand; the statistic figures were written white on black and accompanied with simple melodies. Furthermore, the documentary does not use powerfully charged language. Everyone, even the authorities and experts, spoke in an informal manner. The choice of language supported the overall tone of the documentary and conducted to the investigation of the problem. Moreover, visual images substantially supported the expertsвЂ™ statements and helped to deliver the message.
The documentary used the reliable statistic figures and historical facts with the comments of the authorities, experts, and students. The cast of the video with the statements and personal stories significantly enhance the credibility of the documentary. The Scholarslip was created to draw the attention of the society and especially future students to the deteriorating problem of the higher education and student debts. Furthermore, this work provides a view on the possible risks of entering a college, and an impact it would cause on the rest of the life.