What they said at the summit

On Community College Spotlight: What they said at the Community College Summit.

For-profit career colleges fight back with an attack on community college recruiting, graduation rates.

Four-year college doesn’t fit all

Four-year college doesn’t fit all students, argues Beyond One-Size-Fits-All College Dreams: Alternative Pathways to Desirable Careers in American Educator. Low achievers should aim for vocational certificates rather than bachelor’s degrees, argue the authors.

For-profit higher education is a bargain for taxpayers, according to a new study that compares public costs of the for-profit, non-profit and public sectors.

IBM and City University of New York plan a six-year high school-college hybrid that will graduate students with an associate degree and the inside track to a job.

It’s all on Community College Spotlight.

If default rates are the problem . . .

The same day the Obama administration hit for-profit colleges for high default rates on federal loans, President Obama was lauding historically black colleges and universities, whose students have an even higher default rate, writes Cato’s Neal McCluskey.

Both the black colleges and the for-profit sector disproportionately serve first-to-college, low-income and minority students who are less likely to earn a degree, get a good job and be able to pay back loans. If lowering default rates is the priority, the feds will have to stop loaning money to high-risk students.

For-profits under fire

On Community College Spotlight:  Sen. Tom Harkin hits for-profit education with GAO report on fraud and abuse.

Also, Wyoming’s community colleges and state university are trying to set a common standard to define when students are ready for college-level work.

GAO finds fraud in for-profit recruiting

For-profit college recruiters told applicants to lie to qualify for more federal aid, inflated their future earning potential and let them cheat on entry tests, reports a Government Accountability Office study that used undercover investigators. Four of 15 unnamed colleges encouraged fraud, says the GAO. “All 15 made deceptive or otherwise questionable statements” to investigators posing as applicants.

Stocks of for-profit companies held up when Education Department rules limiting federal loans to for-profit students were announced but fell when the GAO report was released.

College loans tied to default rates

On Community College Spotlight:  For-profit colleges will lose eligibility for student loans if default rates are high, but the Educatiom Department says only five percent of programs —  “the bottom of the barrel”  — will be affected.

Also, the U.S. ranks 12th in the world in young college graduates. Canada is number one. President Obama and the College Completion Agenda want the U.S. to be a world leader again.

Finally, Top 10 lessons from NBC’s Community.

Graduating and churning

On Community College Spotlight: Only the private sector has the capacity to raise the number of low-income students earning college degrees, writes Tom Vander Ark on EdReformers. Private-sector providers serve more at-risk students. Compared to the public sector, they “do a better job graduating students, deliver superior income gains, and do so at a societal cost comparable to public institutions,”a report finds.

Public colleges have a perverse incentive to churn students — bringing in new ones to replace the dropouts — rather than to do the hard work of helping struggling students complete a degree, writes Michael Kirst of College Puzzle.