The college recruiter is 32, and is in the basement of the convention center in Portland, where he gets the attention of my niece Aisha. He's trying to sell her American University, even though his own alma mater is UNC. He feels guilty when potential students are turned away because they can't afford the $20K in annual tuition, but it's his job to recruit, so he's fishing for dollars anyway. He's still paying off his own college loans. Aisha asks him if he could be doing something better with his money than paying back loans, and of course he can think of a million things to do with the cash.
How do you feel about an innocent 12th grader getting dragged into a lifetime of debt, asks Aisha of the college recruiter. He wishes that schools are a lot cheaper, and he indeed borrowed to go to school and has a few years to go, and here he is trying to pay his nut by getting other fools to pay up and go to American U. So now he's got a degree and is working in college admissions, although he admits he hopes this won't be his job in another ten years, because he's afraid it will make him hardened. But it's not me who designed the system, he keeps saying, to which Aisha keeps replying: Yeah, but you're the messenger.