Studentdebt wshew
Research Hub
A collaboration with the Higher Ed Not Debt campaign to investigate how Wall Street profits from higher ed on campuses across the country

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Across the country, Wall Street is skimming profits from higher education through predatory loans to students and universities. The arrangement has been profitable for banks, but bad for higher education -- especially students, alumni, faculty, and staff.

Wall Street Higher Ed Watch, a partnership between and the Higher Ed Not Debt campaign, is a campus-by-campus investigation of Wall Street's role in higher education. Using, activists across the country are connecting the dots between their universities and Wall Street in order to understand and challenge the role finance is playing in higher ed.

An evolving LittleSis map of big bank execs and directors who currently sit on university boards of trustees.

Are you:

  • Angry about tuition hikes, struggling to pay back student loans, or overwhelmed by the prospect of future debt?
  • Frustrated by your university's increasing focus on profit, rather than education?
  • Curious about the role of Wall Street in higher ed and on your campus?
  • Interested in online research and activism that challenges the powers that be?

Sign up for the investigation! We'll be in touch soon to help you get started.

Research Questions

The following are some questions that the investigation is tackling on campuses around the country. Dig into the research guide for more questions and the steps to answer them!

  • Conflicts of interest. Are any decision-makers (trustees, financial managers, etc) on the Wall St payroll -- now or in the past?
  • Predatory financial deals. Is your university losing money to Wall Street on bad debt deals? Who is benefiting from these deals?
  • Other bad deals. Does your university have special deals with student lenders or banks? Does your university keep accounts at bailed-out banks that could be kept at local banks?
  • Defunding education. Are Wall Street firms doing business with your university/school district leading campaigns to defund education and public services?

How LittleSis Helps

This research is all about tracking relationships between universities and Wall Street. LittleSis makes it easy to track relationships -- a trustee's relationship with a big bank, for instance, or an endowment manager's relationship with a hedge fund. This focus on the links that make up powerful networks distinguishes LittleSis from other types of wikis.

LittleSis allows you to build lists of who you are researching in connection to your universities, like trustees, administrators, banks, law firms, etc, and keep track of your sources as you do the research.You can use advanced tools like the bookmarklet and bulk adding function to import data into LittleSis quickly for further research and analysis.

Research groups will help you coordinate research with other activists and share your findings.

You will be part of a community of researchers and activists investigating – and challenging – the powers that be.


Research Groups see all

Investigating the ties between University of Oregon and Wall St.
Investigating the ties between Temple University and Wall St.
A research group investigating governance and policy at the University at Bufalo (SUNY-Buffalo).
Can't find a group? Request a new one.