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For-profit Higher Education

Free college plan laudable but ideological

Madison, Wis., State Journal - Column
April 24, 2014

Rolf Wegenke, president of the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, said the federal dollars coming into his group’s 23 nonprofit members help them educate and graduate low-income and minority students. He said recent federal data show WAICU members enrolled higher percentages of minority students than the UW System did and higher percentages of low-income students than did four-year UW System schools.

Those Master’s-Degree Programs at Elite U.? They’re For-Profit

Chronicle of Higher Education - Commentary
April 21, 2014

Every four years, the federal government conducts a comprehensive survey of college financial aid. According to the latest results, the median debt accrued by students completing master’s degrees in 2012 was $57,600, a 31-percent increase from just four years earlier, after adjusting for inflation. The amount of debt at the 90th percentile grew even more: $153,000, up from less than $113,000 in 2008.

Stand Up and Be Counted

Inside Higher Ed
April 16, 2014

The Maryland Higher Education Commission is cracking down on institutions that provide distance education to students in the state. But the commission has a problem: It doesn’t know who those distance education providers are. The commission last month fired off letters addressed to presidents and provosts of institutions that offer fully online programs (seen at the bottom of this article), asking them to self-report if they enroll students in Maryland.

Reining In Predatory Schools

New York Times - Editorial
April 16, 2014

The for-profit college industry is pressuring the Obama administration to water down proposed new rules that would deny federal student aid to career training programs that saddle students with crippling debt while giving them useless credentials. That’s a potent threat from the government, given that for-profit schools can get as much as 90 percent of their revenue from federal student aid programs. But it doesn’t go far enough.

States Crack Down on For-Profit Colleges, Student Loan Industry

Pew, Stateline
April 14, 2014

Thirty-two states are now working together under the leadership of Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway to investigate potential abuses in the for-profit college industry, which saw enrollment more than triple between 1998 and 2008, according to the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau.

Do 72 percent of for-profit programs have graduates making less than high school dropouts?

Washington Post - Fact Checker
April 11, 2014

Could attending a for-profit institution actually result in a three-out-of-four-chance of earning less than a high school dropout? The claim seems to overturn the widely-held assertion that college-level education will boost earnings.

Democrats’ Bill Seeks Coordinated Oversight of For-Profit Colleges

Chronicle of Higher Education
April 3, 2014

Three Congressional Democrats have teamed up on legislation being introduced on Thursday that seeks to improve coordination among the federal agencies that oversee for-profit colleges. The legislation, known as the Proprietary Education Oversight Coordination Improvement Act, is being introduced in the Senate by by Sen. Tom Harkin, the Iowan who is chairman of the chamber’s education committee, and Sen. Richard J. Durbin, of Illinois. The bill is being introduced in the House by Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, of Maryland.

'Degrees of Inequality'

Inside Higher Ed - Interview
March 27, 2014

American higher education policy has drifted off-course, and what we have now are the diminishing returns, according to a new book by a Cornell University professor of government, Suzanne Mettler. Mettler, who has written in the past about how relatively hidden tax policies are helping to subsidize corporate America, took a look at the landscape of higher education.

Coursera Hires Former Yale President as Its Chief Executive

Chronicle of Higher Education
March 24, 2014

Coursera has won powerful allies in higher education by persuading them that it plans to behave more like a university than an investor-backed Silicon Valley company. Now Coursera has taken another step to bolster its academic bona fides. The company announced on Monday that it had hired Richard C. Levin, who led Yale University as president for 20 years, to serve as its chief executive.

Nation's Only For-Profit Medical School Seeks Exemption From Gainful-Employment Rule

Chronicle of Higher Education
March 24, 2014

s the White House forges ahead with its controversial "gainful employment" rule, the nation’s only for-profit medical school is waging a lonely fight for an exemption from the measure. Officials at Rocky Vista University worry that the proposed rule, which would cut off federal aid to programs whose graduates struggle to repay their debt, will force the college to abandon its mission of producing primary-care doctors, or perhaps put it out of business altogether.