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August 8, 2012 at 6:00 AM

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Discuss: For-profit colleges focus on profit rather than students

For-profit colleges place revenues above education, and charge students high tuition and loan rates that lead to crippling debt. That's the bottom line of a scathing report commissed by Democrats in the U.S. Senate and released last week to cheers from a public clamoring for attention to be paid to this sector of higher education.

A New York Times article described the Senate report capping a two-year investigation of for-profit colleges, a "voluminous, hard-hitting indictment of almost every aspect of the industry, filled with troubling statistics and anecdotes."

Not harsh enough.

Taxpayer-backed student loans accounted for $32 billion in revenue for the colleges last year. Taxpayers' return on investment was terrible. The majority of students enrolling in these colleges leave without a degree, half within four months.

Meanwhile, risky lending in student loans, many by students at for-profit colleges, have produced so much debt they rival the subprime mortgage crisis.

The Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities, the leading trade group of for-profit colleges, says it is being singled out unfairly and blames its low graduation rates on its student body, noting they are largely working-class students often combining work family and education. Is that a good enough excuse?

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These articles come off as if big government schools are highly virtuous. They offer... MORE
Nicely turned, but embarrassingly one sided. Are you really expecting people to NOT... MORE
There's no shame in taking as many credits as possible at a community college before... MORE

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