For-profit colleges scrutinized by governmentFor-profit higher education institutions are being viewed skeptically lately, especially as the Obama administration attempts to force these universities to make additional disclosures to students.

If the Department of Education has its way, for-profit schools will be required to reveal statistics indicating if future students will be forced to take on massive student loans they will not be able to repay upon graduation. For-profit university groups are fiercely protesting this proposed requirement, fearing it will shed a negative light on their schools and drive down enrollment.

The government argued that this requirement will simply allow students to make educated decisions about the financial benefits of enrolling in a program at a for-profit school, since many graduates take on huge loans to pay for tuition and are unable to find careers that allow them to pay off their student debt.

Unveiling student debt statistics is not the only education legislation Obama has supported in regards to for-profit schools. He has also proposed rules that will punish universities that release misleading advertisements, and ban them from giving out raises or bonuses to recruiters who enroll the most students.

For-profits are under further scrutiny after a scathing report released by U.S. Senate members slammed the institutions. The report followed a two-year investigation of 30 for-profit schools, and revealed statistics that are raising eyebrows throughout the higher education community. More than half of students enrolled in these schools did not complete a degree, and of that group, another half left the school within the first four months.

The report also revealed that of the 30 schools followed, an enormous portion of revenue was spent on marketing, advertising and recruiting. While nearly 23 percent of revenue was spent to attract new students to campus, only about 17 percent of revenue went to instruction.

Even more surprising was the fact that taxpayers finance a great deal of the loans that keep for-profits in business. They supplied these schools with $32 billion in 2009. While a quarter of the Department of Education's student aid goes to for-profit universities, a mere 13 percent of college students enroll in these schools.

However, the report did reveal that for-profits play an important part in educating non-traditional students. While for-profit schools tend to come with high tuition costs and little regulation, they tend to take those who are underserved by traditional universities and give them the opportunity to earn a degree.

While Democrats tend to favor regulating for-profits and Republicans see them as an additional option for students, it is now up to a federal judge to decide if regulation can require the schools to disclose the debt and repayment abilities of graduates.
Share To:

Strategic Sourceror

Post A Comment:

0 comments so far,add yours