Ed Trust: Cut aid to low-quality colleges

Cut federal grants, loans and tax benefits to “college dropout factories,” “diploma mills” and “engines of inequality,” argues Education Trust in a new report. The “engines” are institutions — including some state universities — that admit few low- and moderate-income students eligible for Pell Grants.

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  1. Mark Roulo says:

    FYI … buried in a footnote of the report is this: “University of Phoenix campuses alone account for over one-quarter ($4.1 billion) of the $15 billion federal student aid dollars
    distributed to colleges in the bottom 5 percent of access and success metrics. ”
    From collegeapps at about dot com, we find that “The University of Phoenix is a for-profit university with over 200 campuses across the United States. The online school alone has over a quarter-million students” and that the 4 year graduation rate is 1%. 6 year is 4%. Wow!
    What isn’t clear to me is how many Phoenix students are aiming for a 4-year degree instead of, say, a certificate in HVAC. Does anyone know?

    • Most for-profit colleges’ four-year programs have low success rates, while their two-year vocational programs have much higher success rates than community colleges. For-profit students disproportionately are low-income, non-white adults — very high risk for success in an academic program.

  2. One question about most programs, but the two year vocational programs in particular, is to what extent the graduates actually learned what they were supposed to, versus being pushed on through regardless of accomplishments so the federal money keeps coming. I do not know the situation at present, but I knew an electrical engineer who taught electronic tech classes at ITT Tech about 20 years ago. It was certainly possible for a motivated student with ~ 6th grade reading and math students to receive thorough and complete training, but the management _strongly_ encouraged instructors to also pass students who were not doing as well. Only the first group will benefit from that two-year certificate in the long run, because what you don’t know soon becomes obvious once you are in a real job.