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Headlining Event: Sticker Shock: Middle-Class Families and the College Price Tag Conundrum

How do Americans pursue higher education without breaking the bank? Join us for a conversation about finances, families, and the future.



Wednesday, April 15 at 7pm  |  The Jefferson Theater


  • Programmed in partnership with the UVA Democracy Initiative’s Deliberative Media Lab

  • This is a free event — spaces will fill quickly!

  • Register now to save your spot


All across America, middle-class families are asking the same questions about how to afford college: Do we take on crippling debt or tap into precious retirement resources? Join this free conversation about the connection between higher education and success and how the struggle to pay for college has become a defining feature of middle-class American life.

Meet the Panelists:


Caitlin Zaloom Author, Professor, Economic Anthropologist

Zaloom is the author of Indebted: How Families Make College Work at Any Cost, an intensely personal exploration of the extreme measures parents take to send children to college and the hidden consequences of student debt. The economic anthropologist and New York University professor takes us inside the homes of middle-class America to create a portrait of families struggling with the merits and logistics of one of the biggest investments they’ll ever make.


Jim Ryan President, University of Virginia

A leading expert on law and education, Ryan has written extensively about the ways in which law impacts educational opportunities with an emphasis on school desegregation, school finance, and school choice. He is the author of Five Miles Away, A World Apart and the New York Times bestseller Wait, What? And Life’s Other Essential Questions. He has authored articles on constitutional law and argued before the United States Supreme Court.


Siva Vaidhyanathan Robertson Professor of Media Studies Director, Deliberative Media Lab University of Virginia

Vaidhyanathan has written myriad books on the social impact of media and technology, including Antisocial Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy, and The Googlization of Everything — and Why We Should Worry. He is a frequent contributor to public radio, regular columnist for The Guardian, and has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times and The Washington Post — among many other prominent publications. He hosts a Democracy Lab, produces several podcasts, and has appeared in several documentary films.



Tickets to this conversation are free, but spaces will fill quickly. Save your spot now!

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