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For-profit Higher Education

Private College Grads: Unemployed and in Debt

Washington Post - Commentary
September 28, 2014

For-profit colleges can’t get no respect, at least not from employers. Which suggests that maybe they should be getting less generous taxpayer subsidies, too. For-profit schools — ranging from monolithic online chains like the University of Phoenix to smaller, fly-by-night operations that advertise on the subway — enroll about 12 percent of college students nationally. Yet they account for nearly four times that share of student-loan defaults, according to newly released federal data.

As Default Rates Drop, So Does Confidence in How the Education Dept. Counts Them

Chronicle of Higher Education
September 25, 2014

The official federal student-loan default rate fell a percentage point this year, with the largest dip occurring in the for-profit sector, data released on Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Education show. But the talk among advocates, reporters, and policy wonks on Wednesday was less about the drop than about the Education Department’s last-minute tweak of its own numbers. That "adjustment," which spared some colleges whose high rates would have cost them their ability to award federal aid, has reanimated the debate over default rates, long derided as a poor measure of institutional quality.

The 5 Colleges That Leave the Most Students Crippled By Debt

Time, Money
September 24, 2014

The University of Phoenix, a for-profit company and the nation’s largest higher education system, with 242,000 students, accounted for more than 45,000 of the defaulters in the most recent three-year group. That represented 19% of all of the Phoenix students whose bills started coming due in 2011.

These People Can Make Student Loans Disappear

September 18, 2014

Since November 2012, Rolling Jubilee has purchased and eradicated about $15 million worth of debt arising from unpaid medical bills. Today, the group announced that it has erased $3.9 million in private student loans, including Courtney Brown's and those of almost 3,000 other students of the for-profit Everest College.

What a Consumer Watchdog's Suit Against Corinthian Could Mean for Other Colleges

Chronicle of Higher Education
September 17, 2014

It’s a pretty safe bet that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau won’t see much of the half-billion-plus dollars it demanded from Corinthian Colleges Inc., in a lawsuit the bureau filed on Tuesday that accused the company of predatory lending and illegal collection tactics.

Comic Targets GOP House Member Over For-Profits

Inside Higher Education
September 16, 2014

Liberal comedian Bill Maher announced on his show last week that he would work to unseat Representative John Kline, the Minnesota Republican who chairs the House education committee. The host of the HBO series "Real Time with Bill Maher" cited Kline's support of for-profit colleges -- and the industry's donations to his campaign -- as one of the reasons why he chose to target Kline as part of his "Flip a District" campaign.

How For-Profit Colleges Are Tainting American Education

September 12, 2014

John Oliver grabbed the mic last weekend to call out private, for-profit (PFP or proprietary) colleges as the rip-offs that they are, but he only addressed the student debt inflicted by these scammers. For-profits not only rob students of money and education; these proprietary institutions’ damage to society is convoluting data about college graduates, causing misrepresentation of higher education as a whole.

Are Demographics Destiny? Student Advocates and For-Profit Colleges Disagree

Chronicle of Higher Education
September 10, 2014

Student and consumer groups, worried that the Education Department is considering softening its proposed "gainful employment" rule, are challenging a study that suggests that demographics drive student outcomes. In a brief published on Wednesday, the group Young Invincibles argues that the study, which was commissioned by the Association of Proprietary Colleges and published in May, suffers from methodological flaws and a "biased framing of the results."

John Oliver takes on student debt

September 8, 2014

As college students head back to campus, John Oliver has some bad news for them: "Essentially, student debt is like HPV. If you go to college, you're almost certainly going to get it. And if you do, it will follow you for the rest of your life."  Most of the segment focuses on for-profit colleges, which enroll about 13 percent of all college students but a much larger percentage of student loan borrowing and defaults.

College in a Box - Opinion Piece
September 4, 2014

As online course products have improved, more and more schools have plugged them into their curricula. The result is a creeping homogenization of basic classes throughout many U.S. universities. That’s raising some uncomfortable questions, starting with: Why should I pick one school over another if they offer the exact same classes? And: Why are universities buying ready-made frozen meals instead of cooking up their own educational fare?