News Search of the Week
Here's what the media are saying about:
Browse By News Topic
For-profit Higher Education
Rick Cohen writes: While the critiques of for-profit colleges have been scathing and constant (such as the article by freelancer Barry Yeoman that slams for-profit colleges for “Potemkin” degrees, fabricated prospects of employment, and leading students into “a lifetime of debt”), no one should be carried away that attaching “nonprofit” to higher education makes colleges and universities all hunky dory.
The U.S. Treasury Department soon will take some student borrowers' accounts away from private debt collectors and give them to federal workers, an ambitious new pilot project that may result in the government cutting out the student loan middlemen who have gotten rich targeting distressed borrowers. The federal employees will be charged with finding ways to help troubled borrowers make good on their delinquent debts, according to borrower advocates and Obama administration officials who have been briefed on the project. The project may start early next year.
James Marshall Crotty writes: For-profit colleges have taken a beating in the court of public opinion, as former students allege that they were bum rushed into classes that saddled them with enormous debt and into majors of dubious utility that left them unprepared for the merciless 21st century global workforce. Poor and minority students were foremost in mind in the Obama administration’s gainful employment initiative, which strengthens income and job benchmarks that for-profit colleges must meet in return for mission-critical access to federal student loans and grants.
If the relationship between for-profit colleges and military veterans is a controversial one, the law that motivated the controversy is not. The new G.I. Bill, passed in 2008 for veterans serving since September 11, 2001, provides service members with subsidies to pursue higher education. As a thank-you for putting his or her life on the line, an individual veteran could receive tens of thousands of dollars toward a school of their choice.
Tim Hsia & Anna Ivey write: After 9/11, Congress passed a new G.I. Bill modeled after the post-World War II legislation that so powerfully expressed America’s gratitude to its veterans. The original G.I. Bill of 1944 lifted up thousands of veterans and their families, and the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill, enacted in 2008, attempts to do the same. Yet higher education today is far more complicated than it was in the 1940s. Perhaps the most troubling phenomenon returning veterans face right now is this: predatory for-profit schools that exploit their G.I. Bill funding and offer them — and taxpayers — very little in return.
For-profit colleges wasted no time in challenging the U.S. Education Department over the latest version of its gainful-employment rule, filing a lawsuit on Thursday in the U.S. District Court here that seeks to overturn the measure.
A recent study finds American higher education to be a “minefield full of dead-ends, trapdoors and false promises.” "One hurdle facing kids leaving high school is that we offer little useful information on pathways between career programs and jobs," said Mary Alice McCarthy, author of the report and a policy analyst at the New America Foundation, a Washington, D.C., based think tank.
Is going to university a way of getting on a ladder of opportunity? Or is it a way of descending into debt that will outweigh any promised advantages? It's a question that faces every developed economy where going to higher education has moved from an academic minority to a mainstream career pathway.
When the curtain is drawn on the 114th Congress, lawmakers in both chambers—and on both sides of the aisle—are expected to tackle a reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, a mammoth law that includes college-preparation programs for disadvantaged students, tuition-assistance grants for low- and middle-income families, and the entire federal student-loan program.
With Republicans poised to reclaim the Senate in Tuesday’s elections, Lamar Alexander may finally be in a position to change things. As the presumptive chair of the Senate committee that oversees education, he would control the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, the major law governing student aid. Already, he’s drafted legislation to shrink the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or Fafsa, and to reduce the overall number of student-aid programs. He’s formed a commission to identify redundant regulations, and he's talked of "starting from scratch" on the reauthorization bill.