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.