After a two-year investigation of the for-profit higher education industry, the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee issued a report in July that condemned for-profits for delivering a poor-quality education for a monster price tag. The report said that the 30 for-profit colleges investigated, including DeVry, Kaplan and the University of Phoenix, misuse government funds, attract students with deceptive advertising and burden them with massive amounts of debt—some programs at for-profit schools cost as much as four times more than similar programs at non-profit schools—without providing graduates with good job prospects. And these schools do all of this on the backs of American taxpayers: In 2009-10 alone, for-profit colleges received $32 billion in federally backed student loans. But since Congress issued its scathing report, little has been done to reform for-profits. The Obama Administration’s “gainful employment” rule, which would stop awarding federal loans to for-profits whose students graduate with more debt than they can realistically repay, was slated to take effect in July, but a lawsuit brought by a trade association representing the for-profits has put the provision on hold. In the meantime, some for-profits are making voluntarily reforms—the University of Phoenix, for example, has implemented a three-week, non-credit orientation course in an effort to get students to think twice before enrolling—but for the majority of for-profits until Congress takes action, it’s business as usual.
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Top 10 Education Stories
- 10. Go, Fight, Win: Texas Cheerleaders and the B-I-B-L-E
- 9. The Rise of the Digital Textbook
- 8. Harvard’s Cheating Scandal
- 7. Shaming the For-Profit Colleges
- 6. Bypassing No Child Left Behind
- 5. The Ever-Worsening Student Loan Crisis
- 4. UVA President Ousted—Then Reinstated
- 3. Malala and the Fight for Girls’ Education Worldwide
- 2. Chicago Teachers Hit the Picket Lines
- 1. Planet of the MOOCs
Top 10 U.S. News Stories
- 10. The American Energy Boom
- 9. The Grim Toll of Military Suicides
- 8. Obama’s Gay Marriage Awakening
- 7. The Fall of Gen. David Petraeus
- 6. Amnesty for the Undocumented?
- 5. Mayhem at Aurora and Oak Creek
- 4. The Killing of Trayvon Martin
- 3. ‘Obamacare’ Upheld
- 2. Hurricane Sandy
- 1. President Obama Reelected to Fix a Struggling Economy