HBO host Bill Maher delivered a scathing rebuke of colleges on Friday, calling higher education “a racket that sells you a very expensive ticket to the upper-middle class.”
In Maher’s “New Rule” segment of his “Real Time” TV show, he argued against President Joe Biden’s “American Families Plan,” which the host said would waste “hundreds of billions” of taxpayer money “so everyone can go to college,” and “billions more for subsidized child care so our kids can go to school while we go to school.” He said liberals are wrong for believing “that the more time humans spend in classrooms, staring at blackboards, the better.”
Maher railed against “free college” by stating, “I know free college is a left-wing thing, but is it really liberal for someone who doesn’t go to college and makes less money to pay for people who do go and make more?”
“The answer isn’t to make college free,” Maher proclaimed. “The answer is to make it more unnecessary, which it is for most jobs, so that the two-thirds of Americans who either can’t afford to or just don’t want to go don’t feel shut out.”
The HBO host pointed out that some colleges look more like vacation resorts than institutions of higher learning. He grumbled that colleges are now “giant luxury daycare centers” staffed with “overpaid babysitters.”
“The University of Missouri has a river grotto inspired by the Playboy Mansion,” he joked. “Texas Tech has one of the largest water parks in the country that includes a 25-person hot tub, tanning deck, waterslide and a lazy river.”
Maher also blasted the work ethic of students, claiming that a “third of students now spend less than five hours a week studying.” He also slammed the curriculum of current-day universities, wisecracking that courses include “sports marketing history through Twitter,” “advanced racist spotting,” “intro to microaggressions,” and “you owe me an apology 101.” He pointed out, “Why is China kicking our ass? Because in 2019, we issued more undergrad degrees in visual and performing arts than in computer and information science or math.”
Maher highlighted the ever-growing costs to attend college, “Since 1985, the average cost of college has risen 500 percent — it doubles every nine years. Every year it increases at four times the rate of inflation. And yet, no one knows how to change a tire.”
Maher lambasted college as a “grift” and a “scam,” saying schools can charge “whatever they want” because a degree is “so necessary” in order to move up in society.
“Colleges are businesses, selling a consumer product for hundreds of thousands of dollars,” providing their customers with a “magical piece of paper,” he said. “In 1960, colleges awarded A’s to 15% of the students. Well now it’s 45% and it’s not because they got smarter.”
“Say what you want about Lori Loughlin, at least she understood that one good scam deserves another,” he joked about the Hollywood actress who was involved in the 2019 college admissions bribery scandal, which got her two daughters into the University of Southern California.
He referred to a quote by Loughlin’s daughter, “And in the immortal words of Olivia Jade, ‘I don’t know how much school I’m going to attend, but I do want the experience of, like, game days and partying.'” Maher yelled, “Yeah, I’m not paying for that!”
“But that’s only the beginning of the scam,” he continued. “A wannabe librarian needs a master’s degree just to get an entry-level job filing books. You know, I’ve heard this from so many nurses and teachers and administrators, rolling their eyes when relating how they needed to take some bulls*** course in order to advance in their field, when really they already learned what they need by working the job.”
Maher compared the college system of never-ending education to Scientology. “This is what Scientology does, makes you keep taking courses to move up to the bridge of total freedom,” he said.
New Rule: The College Scam | Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO)