All Articles Tagged "for profit education"
There is story after story about unscrupulous for-profit educational institutions taking advantage of eager, unsuspecting students. And unfortunately, minorities are most likely to attend a for-profit institution, with these racial groups disproportionately enrolled. Veterans and active-duty military (approximately 30 percent of whom are minorities) are also targeted by for-profits since veterans have federal benefits and federally subsidized student loans.
African-American and Hispanic undergraduates at for-profit colleges are “more than twice as likely to borrow federal student loans – and more than three times as likely to take out private, high-interest rate education loans – as their counterparts at other colleges,” reports CNN.
Unemployed single mother Rosalyn Harris, 23, tried to improve her situation by going back to school. She entered in a two-year criminal justice program at for-profit Everest College in Chesapeake, Va., only to later discover that her degree was worthless and that she was in debt for more than $22,000 for student loans.
“My sole purpose of going to school was bettering my life for me and my son,” she told CNN. “But now I wish I had never gone.”
Many other students have complained about Everest College, which is a member of for-profit behemoth Corinthian Colleges. The school has been accused by federal agencies of operating a predatory lending scheme, targeting low-income students and falsely inflating job placement numbers. Corinithian is in the process of closing and selling its schools.
Corinthian isn’t the only for-profit school under scrutiny. These institutions are usually double or triple the cost of public institutions like community colleges. On top of this, the default rate (19 percent in 2013) was the highest of all sectors.
These negative practices by the for-profits affect a large number of students. “The U.S. Department of Education has reported that students at for-profit colleges represent 13 percent of all college enrollments but account for nearly half of all loan defaults. Approximately 95 percent of the for-profits’ revenue comes from taxpayer-supported benefits,” reports Diverse: Issues In Higher Education.
In the U.S., there are more than 3,000 for-profit education companies and they aggressively try to recruit new students with major promises of job opportunities following graduation. But this usually isn’t the case.
“What they really deliver is often far less. More than half of the students who enroll in a for-profit program leave without a degree or diploma after only a few months. Shockingly, students sometimes complete their degrees only to find that the ‘college,’ or a specific degree or certificate program, was not properly accredited,” reports Divers. And because the programs are not properly accredited, graduates are ineligible for licensing exams in the professions they studied for.
You’ve seen the commercials. You know — the overly-enthusiastic actors giving their “rags to riches” story about how DeVry, Everest, or the University of Phoenix singlehandedly changed their lives and “You can, too”? Well don’t believe the hype! According to ThinkProgress, students of these for-profit schools have the same chances of scoring a job as those who never went to college at all.
The painful truth is that employers don’t take these schools seriously. Odds are high that candidates with degrees from these schools will be tossed into the “don’t call” list. “…[A] certificate from a for-profit college gives a young candidate no great boost over someone who skipped college entirely,” the Wall Street Journal writes.
Researchers from RAND and University of Missouri sent out nearly 9,000 fake resumes to job postings that were on the hunt for sales, customer service, IT, medical assisting, medical billing and administrative support employees. Some “applicants” went to local career colleges while others just had a high school diploma. High school degree holders had a slightly higher response rate at 11.6 percent when compared to the 11.3 percent call-back rate that the career college resumes received.
“[Employers] asked to schedule interviews with 5.3% of applicants who had community-college credentials, and 4.7% of applicants hailing from for-profit colleges,” WSJ added.
To be clear, though for-profit college applicants were contacted at a slightly lower rate, investigators say that the difference is too small to declare career colleges as a detriment to employment. But the researchers say that the “gain” from attending these for-profit colleges is non-existent.
This study adds weight to previous claims that your DeVrys, Everests, and Kaplans aren’t worth the investment. Tuition fees for for-profit colleges climbed to an average of $14,000 (in 2011-2012). In-state public college students paid five times less — $2,650. According to findings from the Education Department released in March, a whopping 72 percent of for-profit college students earned less than their college-skipping counterparts.
And of course, there are your student debt issues. Though for-profit college students account for only 13 percent of the higher education crowd, they make up almost half of student loan defaults, U.S. Department of Ed’s Blog, Homeroom, wrote.
If for-college students make $1,800 to $2,000 less than grads who have attended other institutions but suffer higher debt burdens, are for-profits worth it? The answer is a no-brainer.
(Huffington Post) — For-profit colleges devote less than a third of what public universities spend on educating students, even though the for-profit institutions charge nearly twice as much as their public counterparts for tuition, according to new federal government data released Thursday. Students attending bachelor’s degree programs at for-profit schools are also much less likely to graduate than students who attend public universities or private non-profit schools, concludes the report from the National Center for Education Statistics. One in five students graduate from for-profit bachelor’s degree programs within six years, compared to more than half of students at public universities. The new federal data lands amid fierce debate over the practices of for-profit colleges, which confront the stiffest government scrutiny in decades. The Obama administration has been crafting new rules aimed at preventing schools from promising more than they can deliver, in response to reports that many tout their training programs as stepping stones to lucrative careers only to set up students up for jobs whose wages will rarely keep pace with their resulting debt burdens.
(Washington Examiner) — D.C. teachers are planning a rally outside the Washington Post on Friday to protest the newspaper’s link to a for-profit college and testing enterprise. With posters and megaphones in hand, the Washington Teachers’ Union says it will tell the Post that its relationship with Kaplan Inc. — the major revenue source of the Washington Post Co. — creates a conflict of interest that has slanted the newspaper’s coverage of D.C. education reform. Kaplan’s for-profit colleges, test preparation programs and other offerings account for 62 percent of the Post Co.’s revenue. Union President Nathan Saunders said teachers have been concerned for years that the newspaper’s editorial board exhibits a bias toward testing consistent with the goals of Kaplan, which runs test readiness programs and tutoring. This has caused the newspaper to “dismiss” the side of the teachers, who Saunders said prefer non-test-reliant reforms.
(The Network Journal) — On the heels of the documentary “Inside Job” winning an Oscar for its depth of analysis involving Wall Street fraud and misappropriations behind the recent financial crisis, come yet additional material for perhaps a sequel. The National Black Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) recently released an infographic that reveals details concerning a web of influence reportedly spun by Wall Street hedge fund managers to press for passage of Department of Education regulations that, if accepted, would hurt the lucrative for-profit education sector. Of particular concern, NBCC expects the controversial new policies advocated by the short-sellers to have drastic consequences on minority students.
The infographic depicts the various tactics short-sellers have used to reportedly attack for-profit colleges with the goal of passing “Gainful Employment” regulations. NBCC claims the regulation threatens access to education for African-American and other minority students by cutting federal aid for career colleges, thus cutting access for thousands of minority students who depend on federal aid to attend these schools. NBCC has staunchly opposed the “Gainful Employment” rule since it was proposed. The organization claims that short-sellers have used such tactics as meeting directly with Education Department officials, slamming for-profits during a Congressional hearing and hiring a private investigator to dredge up stories that the schools recruit from homeless shelters.
(New York Times) — Are there any merits to for-profit colleges? Those following the news for the last several months could be forgiven for thinking the answer is “no.” The sustained flurry of bad press has included a federal report on deceptive recruitment practices at for-profit colleges, Congressional investigations juxtaposing the colleges’ rising profits against their low completion rates and new federal student loan data showing that students at these schools borrow more and default more frequently than those at public institutions.
These reports are rightfully alarming, to the point that reasonable people might wonder whether for-profit institutions have any legitimate place in our higher education landscape. To bring some balance to the conversation, however, I want to raise the possibility that at least some of these schools may be doing at least some things from which the traditional sector could learn.For example, while for-profit schools have been criticized for their high reliance on federal financial aid dollars, they also do a good job of ensuring that needy students receive the aid for which they are eligible. Many public institutions do not.
(Washington Informer) — George Washington University is opening an online high school aimed at top college-bound students tired of generic public education. The George Washington University Online High School, run by GW and Herndon online education company K12 Inc., will serve students in the United States, as well as internationally. Classes start next week. The school is designed for students who plan on attending top-tier colleges and universities, with rigorous classes, said Barb Brueggemann, head of the new school.
(Washington Post) — Statistics show that there are more Americans below the poverty line now than when President Lyndon Johnson declared the War on Poverty. We must use every arrow in our collective quiver to reverse this devastating trend. The Urban League is dedicated to fighting poverty by empowering youth in underserved communities through education and job training. We have found that a college education, whenever it is possible, is the best path to employment. The league strongly supports President Obama’s pledge that America will have the highest percentage of college graduates in the world by 2020. But as the nation navigates the various paths of education reform, we must be careful not to inadvertently set up roadblocks for the students most at risk for failure.
(Bloomberg) — Wall Street investment firms’ pursuit of short-term gains interferes with the educational goals of the for-profit colleges they invest in, said U.S. Senator Tom Harkin, chairman of the education committee. Goldman Sachs Group Inc., which owns 39 percent of Education Management Corp., is among Wall Street firms that “have no interest in the long-term educational outcomes of the students attending the schools,” Harkin, an Iowa Democrat, said today on the Senate floor. About 1.5 million students are enrolled in for-profit colleges owned by 15 publicly traded U.S. education companies, and another 33 for-profit educators are partially or fully owned by private equity firms or hedge funds, Harkin said. Unlike nonprofit universities and public institutions, for-profit colleges are legally bound to work in the interests of investors, he said.
(New York Times) — When Congress moved in 2008 to sweeten tuition payments for veterans, it was celebrated as a way to ensure that military personnel returning from Iraq and Afghanistan could go to college at no cost and to replicate the historic benefits society gained from the G.I. Bill after World War II. Now, a year after payouts on the so-called Post-9/11 G.I. Bill started, the huge program has turned into a bonanza of another kind for the many commercial colleges in the United States that have seen their military revenues surge.