Ivory Tower

2014 PG-13 1h 31m DVD

Ivory Tower

2014 PG-13 1h 31m DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
Spotlighting the upward spiral in college tuition fees since the 1970s, this sober documentary questions the true value of such costly education. Interviews with academic experts and online education pioneers bring to light emerging alternatives.
Widescreen 1.78:1
English, Spanish (Neutral), French, Portuguese
English: Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish (Neutral): Dolby Digital 5.1
PG-13 - Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. Parents are urged to be cautious. Some material may be inappropriate for pre-teenagers.
age 14+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 14+
age 14+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that Ivory Tower is a well-made documentary that examines the rising cost of college and the growing debate over whether it's worth the hefty price of admission. Mixing interviews featuring students, professors, and administrators with information found through data mining, the film reveals the business side of higher education and posits that customers -- students -- may not be getting what they need. There's one brief scene with swearing ("s--t"); otherwise, the movie is completely appropriate for teens and up and should probably be mandatory viewing for high school students considering college (and their parents, too!).

Sexual Content

Not applicable


Student protestors take over a building, forcing a heated confrontation with security guards.


One person uses the word "s--t" a few times during an interview.

Social Behavior

As the price of college increases, a growing number of people are questioning whether the cost is worth it. There are valid reasons on both sides of this complicated question.


Many well-known colleges are (not surprisingly, given the topic) mentioned by name and discussed extensively, including Harvard, Cooper Union, Wesleyan, and Stanford. The film also mentions some popular online learning sites, including Coursera.

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Not applicable

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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