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Old May 11th, 2015, 12:22 AM   #1
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The Era of Predatory For-Profit Colleges Might Be Over

The Era of Predatory For-Profit Colleges Might Be Over*|*David Halperin

Even if predatory for-profit college companies can hang on for a period, restoring revenues while retaining their abusive practices, the era where they blatantly and arrogantly rip off and students and taxpayers, while Washington politicians and lobbyists do their bidding without apparent shame, is likely near its end. But to make that happen, the Obama Administration must act, and act with urgency.

For decades, bad actors in this industry have engaged in awful abuses, and for five years we've seen steady revelations of such misdeeds, including blatant deceptions by for-profit colleges to students and government overseers. But only in the past two years have federal and state law enforcement investigators really stepped up. Now the effects of the bad publicity and heightened monitoring are at last being felt.

This week alone we saw the final collapse of Corinthian Colleges, as well as dramatic contractions by fellow for-profit college giants EDMC and Career Education Corp. In March, industry leader the University of Phoenix admitted it has less than half the number of students it had five years ago.

Meanwhile, congressional critics of the industry, like Elizabeth Warren, Dick Durbin, Maxine Waters, Elijah Cummings, and Mark Takano, are increasingly emboldened in standing up for students and against industry abuses -- and there is growing Hill support for those views.

A year ago, Marco Rubio was writing to the U.S. Department of Education seeking leniency for Corinthian, which had been caught in a string of deceptions. Jeb Bush was appearing at the annual convention of the for-profit colleges lobby group, APSCU, denouncing the Obama administration's "gainful employment" rule, which is aimed at holding career education programs accountable for consistently leaving graduates with insurmountable debt.

But the politicians who have been cheerleaders for the industry are quiet right now, and for the first-time in a long time the APSCU summer convention, at least for now, lacks a marquee politician speaker.

An industry that was getting $33 billion a year in federal aid, buying its executives lavish homes, private planes, nights on the town, Park Avenue dinner parties, and fancy ski junkets, is now in remarkable disarray.
Once again, privatization does not work. Government controlled institutions, accountable to the taxpayer, do.
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Old May 11th, 2015, 04:22 AM   #2
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I attended a private school for both under-and-grad work. It was a rather well regarded school and there is a privileged superiority that come with having that name on my resumé.

I wouldn't want to give all that up for the dollars saved by going to a lesser known school.

I am all in favor of the government stepping in and making education easier to pay for and quicker to get through. I just wouldn't have wanted to trade my experience for that. And, just in case that sounds too much like a privileged one percenter, I didn't pay a dime for college. I was on scholarship my whole way through college, and both my masters were on fellowships, so they actually paid ME to get my degrees.
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