If for-profits colleges are forced out of business, taxpayers will have to spend billions of dollars to create more seats at community colleges and state universities, analysts warn. And the colleges these students would be eligible to attend have very low graduation rates.
Job seekers are as attractive to employers with a for-profit certificate or degree as with a community college credential, concludes a new study, which sent fictitious resumes to employers. Community colleges charge a lot less, the researchers pointed out.
Applicants with “some college” did little better than those with just a high school diploma.
Thirty-one percent of military veterans enrolled in for-profit colleges in 2012, up from 23 percent three years earlier. Only 50 percent chose public colleges, down from 62 percent.
Critics blame aggressive marketing, but vets could be choosing more focused job-training programs.
Under investigation for falsifying job placement rates, for-profit Corinthian Colleges will sell 85 campuses and close 12 others. The national company runs Everest, WyoTech and Heald career colleges.
For-profit colleges charge $35,000 on average for an associate degree, on average, more than four times the cost at the average community college. Why does anyone choose a for-profit college? Students cite flexibility and convenience. Most use federal student aid to pay the bills.
Graduation rates vary by type of college, because different colleges recruit different types of students. Pew Research looks at how students are doing six years after enrolling in college.
The for-profit colleges enroll older, less-capable students who are much less likely to complete an academic degree, but much more likely to complete a two-year-or-less vocational credential. Community colleges, which also enroll many high-risk students, offer low-success academic programs and higher-success job training.
For now, proposed “gainful employment” regulations are aimed at for-profit colleges and career programs at nonprofits. If too many students in a program default on loans or pile up too much debt relative to income, the feds will cut off student aid. Once the bills start coming in for income-based repayment of student loans, “the government is just going to have to shut down the free money fountain” for all of higher ed, predicts EduBubble.
Community colleges can compete for students with for-profit colleges by studying their strengths, writes a dean who’s worked in both sectors.
Seventy-two percent of for-profit colleges’ career programs “produce graduates who on average earned less than high school dropouts,” said Education Secretary Arne Duncan at a White House news conference. That earned
two “Pinocchios” for lying from the Washington Post’s fact-checker. Essentially, Duncan compares apples to oranges — with a few lemons thrown in — to make for-profit colleges look bad.
Here’s why career-minded students choose for-profit colleges over much cheaper community colleges.
New “gainful employment” rules for student loans are “awful,” ”unfair and discriminatory,” writes Richard Vedder, director of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity. The regulations apply to vocational programs at career colleges (primarily for-profit) and community colleges. If the goal is to stop wasting government money,”why not scrutinize students majoring in, for example, sociology, from Wayne State University?” he asks.