The New York Times

September 24, 2018

What Betsy DeVos Thinks She Can Get Away With

TA federal judge sent the right message last week when he blocked Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s suspension of an Obama-era rule that allows students defrauded by for-profit colleges to have some or all of their federal student loans forgiven…

The Los Angeles Times

August 31, 2018

Betsy DeVos sides with predatory for-profit colleges over America’s students

The future of the nation’s economy and the ability of its citizens to earn a decent living increasingly depend on having an educated population, with more people getting at least some college education after high school. Despite that, the Trump administration is smoothing the way for unsavory practices in the world of higher education, making it harder for Americans to obtain the degrees or training they yearn to achieve…

The New York Times

August 26, 2018

The DeVos School for the Promotion of Student Debt

Say this for Betsy DeVos: The secretary of education has shown an impressive commitment to rescuing her friends in the for-profit college business from pesky measures to rein in their predatory behavior…

USA Today

August 15, 2018

Betsy DeVos wants to fail students at for-profit colleges

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is about to make life a lot easier for predatory for-profit colleges and a lot tougher for students lured by overblown promises of jobs that never materialize…

Delaware Online

November 11, 2017

Veterans Day should mean more than salutes

Today is Veteran’s Day, when Americans pause to honor those who have served in our nation’s armed forces….

The Daily Free Press

October 2, 2017

For-profit universities: fake, fraudulent and supported by the federal government

For-profit universities have been scamming and swindling unsuspecting students for as long as they’ve existed…

The Denver Post

September 22, 2017

DeVos should keep rules targeting for-profit colleges

For-profit colleges have their place in higher education, but too many operators have proved to be incredibly bad actors over the years, making reasonable rules meant to protect students the smart play…

The New York Times

July 13, 2017

States Fight to Protect Students of Schools

Long before the federal government roused itself, individual state governments were fighting to bring discipline to an unruly and untrustworthy corner of the educational market — for-profit schools that saddle students with crushing debt in exchange for degrees that are essentially useless…

The Los Angeles Times

July 10, 2017

It’s Betsy DeVos’ job to protect students from predatory for-profit colleges. She should do it

Given Donald Trump’s frequent campaign promises to wipe out “job killing” regulations on Day One, no one should be surprised that the Trump administration is going after federal safeguards that protect consumers at the expense of corporate profits…

The San Francisco Chronicle

June 20, 2017

Don’t ease rules on for-profit colleges

With wrecking ball force, the Trump team is crushing environmental rules, Wall Street regulations and immigration laws. Now it’s moving into the night-school classroom by dialing back oversight on financial practices by for-profit colleges…


June 20, 2017

DeVos Should Stick to the Rules on For-Profit Colleges

The for-profit college industry has reason to celebrate Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s plans to overhaul two far-reaching regulations. Taxpayers do not…

The New York Times

May 1, 2017

Keep For-Profit Schools on a Short Leash

Senator Elizabeth Warren and a Democratic colleague want the Trump administration to determine whether a top Education Department appointee is using his position to benefit his former employer, the for-profit college company Bridgepoint Education Inc….

Savannah Now

May 1, 2017

Put Students Before Profits

South University would seem to face an uphill climb to get back into the good graces of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, an accrediting agency that has placed the local for-profit college on 12 months probation…

St. Louis Post Dispatch

April 2 , 2017

For-profit education could come roaring back in the Trump administration

A higher education business model targeted in the Obama administration for preying on military veterans, minorities and poor people is poised to get a second life under the new education secretary, Betsy DeVos…

The New York Times

March 23, 2017

Predator Colleges May Thrive Again

Congress has tried since the 1940s to curb predatory for-profit schools that survive almost solely on federal money while they saddle students with crushing loans for useless degrees. As the industry’s scandals grew and its role in the student debt crisis became more excessive…

Chicago Sun-Times

March 22, 2017

Rolling back for-profit college reforms wastes money and lives

The reputation of the for-profit career college industry has been sullied for decades by con-artists and scammers…

Philadelphia Inquirer

December 29, 2016

Star Academy failure underscores need to better monitor for-profit schools

This holiday season about 3,000 former Star Academy students from Philadelphia, New Jersey, and New York are in shock because their school abruptly shut down, leaving them with a mountain debt and no chance to finish their certificates…

The Herald (WA)

December 27, 2016

Predatory schools using veterans as loophole

The educational benefits included in the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill were meant to help veterans get the education they need to transition to careers. But they are also helping to prop up poor-performing for-profit schools and colleges across the nation…

Star Tribune (MN)

December 7, 2016

Keep the pressure on for-profit schools to be accountable

The effort to bring accountability to the anything-goes landscape of for-profit higher education has landed hard — but justly — on Globe University and the Minnesota School of Business…

The Times-Tribune (PA)

December 2, 2016

McCann exposes for-profit risk

The impending closure of McCann School of Business’ operations in Lackawanna County helps provide another lesson in the uncertainty facing students who pursue higher education at for-profit entities…

The New York Times

October 20, 2016

College Accreditors Need Higher Standards

The federal government spends more than $180 billion a year to support higher education…

The Des Moines Register

October 5, 2016

Beauty schools are designed to exploit students

Regency Beauty Institute abruptly closed all 79 of its cosmetology schools last week…

The Herald-Dispatch (WV)

September 22, 2016

Diane Mufson: For-profit colleges still hurting students, taxpayers

A few years ago I wrote about the serious problems that for-profit colleges pose for their students…

Adirondack Daily Enterprise

September 21, 2016

For-profit schools need regulations

In recent years, growing numbers of low-income and minority high school graduates from Baltimore’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods have enrolled in for-profit trade and technical schools…

The Baltimore Sun

September 20, 2016

Big promises, dashed hopes at for-profit schools

In recent years, growing numbers of low-income and minority high school graduates from Baltimore’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods have enrolled in for-profit trade and technical schools…

Indianapolis Business Journal

September 17, 2016

ITT missteps sowed fate

Almost anyone under attack reflexively attacks back. And so it was on Sept. 6, the day top executives of ITT Educational Services announced they were closing their 136 ITT Technical Institutes, shuttering a pioneer in for-profit education founded more than 50 years ago…

Knoxville News Sentinel

September 16, 2016

Working with students in ITT closure shows state’s best side

State education leaders are doing the right thing in responding quickly to help the 1,900 students whose degree programs were cut short when ITT Technical Institute announced last week it was closing…

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

September 13, 2016

School’s out for ITT: The for-profit network was bad for U.S. taxpayers

The sudden closing of ITT Technical Institutes throughout the nation shocked students and staff members last week…

The Columbus Dispatch

September 12, 2016

ITT collapse holds a lesson

The story of ITT Technical Institute is a cautionary tale for young people with dreams whose naiveté about the higher-education system set them up as marks…

The Columbian (WA)

September 12, 2016

For-Profit Colleges Flop

The abrupt closure of ITT Technical Institutes is disappointing for students and employees, yet it is the inevitable result of years of questionable practices by for-profit colleges…

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

September 11, 2016

Closing ITT Tech helps stop for-profit colleges from shaking down students

Some for-profit colleges came to be a curse on the very students they were in business to help, doing little more than exploiting students for their federal grants, loans and veterans benefits while failing to educate them adequately to find employment in competitive job markets….

Indianapolis Star

September 10, 2016

A complete debacle at ITT Tech

The sudden shutdown of Carmel-based ITT Tech is a costly, maddening mess for thousands of former students and staff….

The Sun-Sentinel (FL)

September 9, 2016

Another for-profit college leaves students in the lurch

Fall classes just started for most students in Florida, but school’s out — suddenly — for about 3,000 enrolled at ITT Technical Institute campuses around the Sunshine State…

Tampa Bay Times

September 9, 2016

Stronger Regulation Needed of For-Profit Colleges

The abrupt closure this week of ITT Technical Institute means one of the worst actors in the for-profit college industry cannot victimize any more students…

The Detroit News

September 8, 2016

ITT Tech closure strands students

Throughout President Obama’s tenure he has zealously targeted for-profit education institutions, resulting in the closure of some of the largest schools. ITT Technical Institutes is the latest to go, leaving thousands of students out of classrooms as the new school year begins…

The New York Times

September 8, 2016

Late to the Fight Against Predator Schools

The federal government’s failure over decades to regulate for-profit collegesfreed the schools to prey on veterans, minorities and the poor by saddling students with crushing debt and giving them worthless degrees in return…

The Orlando Sentinel

September 8, 2016

With closure of ITT, make public colleges top priority

Fall classes just started for most students in Florida, but school’s out — suddenly — for about 3,000 enrolled at ITT Technical Institute campuses around the Sunshine State. That total includes some 400 students left in the lurch in Lake Mary…

The Herald (WA)

September 8, 2016

Editorial: Student loans propped up failing for-profit schools

Adult students starting or heading back to classes don’t expect to have their institution of higher learning yanked out from under them…

The Kansas City Star

September 7, 2016

Editorial – Curtain closes on ITT Technical Institute, a bad actor among for-profit colleges

The sudden closure of ITT Technical Institute for-profit campuses in the Kansas City area and throughout the country will disrupt the lives of thousands of students and could put a new burden on U.S. taxpayers…

Ventura County Star

August 20, 2016

Editorial – City of Ventura was blinded by Brooks Institute dollar signs

The city of Ventura was blinded by the shiny dream of Brooks Institute moving downtown and failed to follow basic contract procedure in working out a deal with the school for lease of a city building…

The Des Moines Register

August 5, 2016

Editorial – Obama protects college students, taxpayers

College students are seeking a better future. Unfortunately, some for-profit colleges are only seeking to make a buck. They advertise heavily, charge a small fortune for tuition, and crank out students with mountains of debt and few job prospects. Taxpayers frequently help pick up the tab…

The Boston Globe

July 25, 2016

Editorial – In higher education, it’s time to watch the watchdogs

FOR TOO long, nobody in higher education has been watching the watchdogs. That’s starting to change, thanks in part to Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who has applied pressure to decertify one of the shadiest accrediting bodies, whose approvals allowed exploitative for-profit colleges to grab federal aid dollars and exacerbated the nation’s student-debt crisis…

The Des Moines Register

July 6, 2016

Editorial – La’ James beauty school finally held accountable

Iowa is heaven for cosmetology schools. Anyone who wants to cut, blow-dry, color or curl hair must obtain a state cosmetology license. That requires 2,100 hours of education and training. With only Northeast Iowa Community College offering cosmetology education, most Iowans who want to work in the beauty industry head to the for-profit schools….

The New York Times

June 20, 2016

Editorial – Protecting Students from Bad Colleges

By failing for decades to regulate for-profit colleges, the federal government encouraged a predatory industry that saddled poor and working-class people with crippling student debt, often in return for useless degrees or no degrees at all. The industry accomplished this by relying on the federal student aid program for virtually all of its revenue. But the Obama administration took steps last week that could keep future students from falling into this trap….

The Des Moines Register

June 16, 2016

Editorial – For-profit colleges are bad deal for many

Like everything from cell phones to financial services, higher education is a heavily marketed product. Students and their families are customers. By now most Iowans should be cautious about buying what for-profit colleges are selling….

The Journal Gazette (IN)

June 16, 2016

Editorial – College’s closure reflects scrutiny of industry

A Brown Mackie College spokesman says declining enrollment, not a federal whistleblower suit, is the reason the for-profit company is shutting its Coliseum Boulevard campus in 2018….

The New York Times

June 10, 2016

Editorial – Don’t Force Students to Sign Away Their Rights

The class-action lawsuit brought by former students of the now-defunct Trump University has loomed large in the presidential campaign since a federal judge ordered the release of documents last month showing that the for-profit school used high-pressure sales tactics and encouraged applicants to pay tens of thousands of dollars in tuition with credit cards. At least these former students could take their complaints to court, an option that students at many other for-profit schools don’t have because they have been asked to sign away their rights….

The New York Times

March 11, 2016

Editorial – When the College Degree Is Useless and the Debt Is Due

For-profit colleges that saddle students with crushing debt and useless degrees — while getting as much as 90 percent of their revenue from the federal student aid program — represent an especially destructive form of corporate welfare. The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit recognized exactly that on Tuesday when it upheld Obama administration rules that would deny federal aid to career training programs that bury students in debt that is beyond their capacity to repay….

The Boston Globe

February 2, 2016

Editorial – Feds should own student loan problem

IF OFFICIALS in Washington want to take meaningful action against the student debt crisis, the most important step is to stop backing loans to schools that leave their students with no hope of gainful employment. And if that means eating loans that never should have been made in the first place, then so be it. Policy makers in Congress and the US Department of Education need to understand that there’s a cost to facilitating billions of dollars in loans to students who attended dodgy schools — and that cost shouldn’t be borne solely, or even primarily, by young people who were simply gulled….

St. Louis Post Dispatch

January 22, 2016

Editorial – Short take: Sticking the taxpayers for education fraud

The Wall Street Journal reported this week that thousands of students who say they’ve been defrauded by for-profit colleges have discovered an obscure federal law that may relieve them of their student debt….

The Des Moines Register

November 29, 2015

Editorial: Do more to stop predatory for-profit schools

Last year, federal officials sued ITT Educational Services, which has campuses in Clive and Cedar Rapids, and accused the for-profit school of predatory student lending….

Palm Beach Post

November 20, 2015

Editorial: Student loan program must demand college accountability

It’s terribly important that prospective college students understand what they’re getting into before they sign on the dotted line of a student loan agreement…..

Boston Globe

November 20, 2015

Editorial – The feds are right to hold higher-ed to higher scrutiny

FEDERAL LOAN funds should go only to colleges and universities that leave their students better off than if they’d never enrolled at all. But because of an intense lobbying effort in Washington, schools have done a masterful job of fending off accountability….

The Transylvania Times (NC)

November 19, 2015

Editorial – Folly Of For-Profit Schools

It has been known for several years among people who pay attention to higher education that many for-profit colleges and universities are little more than scams. A multitude of facts revealed that many of these for-profit schools were giving loans to students who were not qualified to attend college and would have trouble getting a good job upon graduation, much less paying back their loans….

Portland Press-Herald (ME)

November 18, 2015

Editorial – For-profit school settlement deserves low grades

This has been a bad year for for-profit colleges. Once touted as the wave of the future, they’ve come under fire for their aggressive – and deceptive – admissions recruitment strategies….

The Spokesman Review

November 17, 2015

Editorial: For-profit colleges a bad bargain

Federal and state governments are intensifying efforts to ensure that taxpayer dollars spent at for-profit colleges are benefiting students as much as the businesses….

The Kansas City Star

November 17, 2015

Editorial -States’ crackdown on for-profit college chain is good news

This week brought more bad news for the for-profit college sector — which is good news for former and future students of the often-abusive industry….

Caribbean National Weekly

November 11, 2015

Editorial: Florida needs to revise criteria for for-profit institutions

The South Florida nursing education community is still reeling from the sudden closing of popular for-profit medical institution, Dade Medical College. The school recently shut down all six of their campuses in South and Central Florida, without warning to students and employees. This follow a series of scandals for the school, from owner Ernesto Perez pleading guilty to campaign violations to record low nurse licensing exam passing rates….

The Kansas City Star

October 19, 2015

Editorial – Follow Defense Department lead to crack down on for-profit colleges

The U.S. Department of Defense took a strong stand against the abusive for-profit college industry when it recently suspended one of its largest players from recruiting on military bases and accessing federal dollars available to service members for educational expenses….

Los Angeles Daily News

October 15, 2015

Pipe-dream scams from America’s for-profit colleges

There’s a larger educational policy issue to be addressed in the medium term as we grapple in the short term with the scandal that is the rip-offs by for-profit “colleges.” That issue is the proper way to fund the public community colleges that in a better world somewhere down the line will properly perform all the functions these predatory businesses that feed off students and taxpayers so improperly perform now….

The New York Times

September 26, 2015

Editorial: Speedy Help for Victims of College Fraud

The federal government’s decades-long failure to curb predatory behavior by the for-profit college industry has left untold numbers of Americans with crushing debt while providing useless degrees — or no degrees at all — in return….

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

September 20, 2015

Editorial: Congress must crack down on for-profit colleges ripping off students and taxpayers

The Great Recession prompted mass layoffs, an excruciatingly painful economic transition that left mid-career workers out in the cold. Many of those workers went to college, or returned there, to try to increase their odds of finding a new job….

Portland Tribune

August 27, 2015

Editorial – For-profit colleges need regulating

The potential for fraud or deception by for-profit colleges in Oregon might seem to be a case of buyer beware. And indeed, students ought to do thorough research about these privately operated institutions before they plunk down tens of thousands of dollars for an education that may or may not have value in the marketplace….

The New York Times

July 16, 2015

Editorial – Debtors Unfairly Excluded From Protection

The large debt loads that weigh heavily on Americans and the American economy — in mortgages, student loans, and most recently, the bonds of Puerto Rico — have one thing in common: They cannot be restructured in bankruptcy. Creditors cannot be compelled by the court to reduce such debts, leaving insolvent borrowers at the mercy of lenders….

Tampa Bay Times

June 26, 2015

Editorial: Helping students left behind by for-profit colleges

Through no fault of their own, tens of thousands of students were left high and dry — and broke — when the for-profit Corinthian Colleges closed and abandoned them. So U.S. Education Department officials are right to offer to forgive their federal student loans, even if it will be expensive. Separately, a U.S. District Court judge in Washington recently upheld new Obama administration rules that will deny federal funds to career training schools that produce graduates who can’t afford to repay their student loans. These are both solid moves. But it will take more than reactive fixes to set straight an industry that too often saddles low-income students and veterans with expensive loans and subpar educations that are not worth the time and money….

The New York Times

June 25, 2015

Editorial – Predatory Colleges Find Friends in Congress

A Federal District Court judge in Washington on Tuesday upheld new Obama administration rules that will deny federal aid to career training programs that saddle students with crushing debt while giving them useless degrees in return….

Toledo Blade

June 15, 2015

Editorial – Predatory Colleges

Students who amassed more than $744 million in debt while attending a now-defunct college accused of predatory practices may be able to have their loans forgiven, courtesy of Uncle Sam. While this is bad news for taxpayers stuck with the bill, it’s allowed under a law governing federal aid at schools guilty of misconduct. Moreover, it is warranted and needed relief for affected students….

Miami Herald

June 13, 2015

Editorial – Pursue the Execs

The U.S. Department of Education has announced that it plans to forgive the federal loans of thousands upon thousands of students who attended Corinthian Colleges, only to be the victims of institutional behavior that left them without certificates of class completion, unable to get jobs and drowning in debt….

Miami Herald

May 26, 2015

Editorial – State comes to students’ rescue? Hardly.

Students who have been taken for a long and costly ride by some for-profit colleges need look no further than the state’s Commission for Independent Education — CIE — if they are wondering why they have not found relief from the schools’ predatory practices….

Palm Beach Post

May 19, 2015

Editorial: If for-profit colleges won’t clean up their act, state must

During these heady graduation days, when so many high school seniors are heading off with dreams of their future, it’s important they all understand one of the real dangers lurking before them: A thicket of predatory for-profit colleges that are making a bundle by saddling students with heavy debt, debt that’s guaranteed by taxpayers, with almost no consumer protections and an ineffective state oversight system….

Oakland Tribune

May 13, 2015

Editorial – Time to rethink our approach to higher ed model

Why do for-profit “colleges” and “universities” even exist in a world in which we have so many superb genuine institutions dedicated to truly higher learning….

San Gabriel Valley Tribune

May 12, 2015

Editorial – Appalling rip-off by the for-profit colleges

Why do for-profit “colleges” and “universities” even exist in a world in which we have so many superb genuine institutions dedicated to truly higher learning? The first thing to understand is that, given the rapacious marketing campaigns aimed at unsuspecting veterans topped with the fact that it is only government-backed student loans that make these businesses profitable, the above is a question very much worth asking. A good position for a (genuine) college debate team to argue would be: “Resolved: For-profit colleges should not exist….”

Telegraph Herald (IA)

May 10, 2015

Editorial – Government must stay tough on for-profit colleges

The for-profit institution Corinthian Colleges filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy last week after closing its campuses, leaving 16,000 students with little to show for their investment….

Tampa Bay Times

May 8, 2015

Editorial: Tougher regulation needed of training colleges

For-profit training colleges have their place in the world of higher education, typically appealing to nontraditional students who are older, perhaps juggling work and family, and looking for a leg up. Some schools provide a solid education and a fast track to a good job. But a recent Miami Herald investigation uncovered a pattern of fraud, high-pressure enrollment tactics and questionable education standards in an industry more focused on profits than producing high-quality graduates. Federal and state governments should give this industry, which has the power to help and hurt so many, much greater scrutiny….

Monterey Herald

April 29, 2015

Editorial – Corinthian Colleges: Students at shuttered schools need help

The federal government seems to have prevailed over for-profit colleges over their dubious track record for placing debt-ridden students in career-track jobs….

The Daily Courier (AZ)

April 28, 2015

Editorial: For-profit education not all it’s cracked up to be

It is being compared with the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s and ’90s, but this one hits education….

The New York Times

April 17, 2015

Editorial – Help for Victims of Crooked Schools

State attorneys general have long served on the front lines of the struggle to control and discipline predatory for-profit colleges that saddle students with crippling debt while granting them useless degrees, or no degrees at all….

San Francisco Chronicle

April 15, 2015

Editorial – A crackdown on for-profit colleges makes sense

Since last year, for-profit colleges have teetered on the edge of financial oblivion. An overdue federal crackdown cut off student loans that fueled a booming business sector and all but shut down one of the biggest players, California’s Corinthian Colleges….

The New York Times

April 2, 2015

Editorial – Students and Parents in the Dark

The Department of Education took a step toward transparency this week when it released a partial list of nearly 560 colleges and universities — the majority of them for-profit institutions — that have been placed under student-aid restrictions because of concerns about their finances and their compliance with federal law. But its failure to release all the names is a clear disservice to students who may end up applying to colleges that might be on the verge of shutting down….

The Des Moines Register

March 28, 2015

Editorial: When for-profit schools graduate to nonprofit

As a rule, words have meaning. But some words, like “nonprofit,” are well on their way to becoming meaningless….

The Palm Beach Post

March 17, 2015

Editorial: Tighter regulation, oversight will help students, taxpayers

Watch enough television and you’re bound to see a commercial for a for-profit college or university filled with inspiring images of students and teachers, constant academic help and lucrative jobs upon graduation….

The New York Times

February 10, 2015

When Colleges Use Veterans as Pawns

For-profit colleges that burden students with crippling debt — often while giving them useless credentials in return — are luring veterans who receive G.I. Bill benefits to take advantage of a loophole in federal law. On the merits, a proposal in President Obama’s 2016 budget that would close this destructive loophole deserves unanimous support in Congress. But because the for-profit industry has considerable power in Washington, veterans may be let down….

Minnesota Daily

February 5, 2015

Editorial – For-profit schools deserve scrutiny

It looks like the verdict is in: For-profit education is slowly on its way out as people realize the implications it can have on its students’ futures. The Globe University and the Minnesota School of Business emailed its students on Dec. 30, informing them that the schools would no longer offer courses in criminal justice. However, for remaining students, there will be some available options….

The Spokesman Review (WA)

November 8, 2014

The Spokesman Review (WA)

The Democrats took another midterm thumping Tuesday largely because the administration of President Obama has suffered repeated episodes of bureaucratic breakdowns, or worse: from the Internal Revenue Service, the Veterans Administration, the Ebola bungling; the list goes on….

Observer-Reporter (PA)

October 16, 2014

Editorial – Degree isn’t everything

For-profit colleges, many of which offer all their classes online, enroll about 12 percent of the nation’s college students. But federal data shows these institutions account for four times that percentage of student-loan defaults….

Star-Tribune (MN)

October 8, 2014

Sorting good from bad among for-profit colleges

If you hope for a more equitable society, one with broader opportunities, then there’s hardly a more important topic than job training. So it’s especially distressing that so many disadvantaged young people — people who believe they’re doing the smart thing by enrolling in for-profit colleges to train for careers in medical technology, criminal justice and other fields — are ending up disillusioned, in debt and without the careers they’d counted on….

The New York Times

October 2, 2014

What to Do About Student Loan Defaults

The good news in the federal student loan default data released by the Department of Education last Wednesday is that the default rate has ticked slightly downward — to 13.7 last year from 14.7 percent in 2012 — after rising steadily through the recession. The bad news is that 650,000 borrowers who started repayment in 2011 had already defaulted by 2013. The government needs to continue pressing both schools and the loan servicing companies to educate students on affordable partial payment plans that can keep them out of default….

The Columbian (WA)

September 19, 2014

Editorial – In Our View: Let The Buyer Beware

While studies have shown that a college education is more important than ever for providing long-term financial security, the plight of students at Corinthian Colleges serves as a warning shot to consumers, as a lesson that you don’t always get what you pay for, and as a reminder of caveat emptor — let the buyer beware….

Sacramento Bee

September 2, 2014

Editorial — Senator is offended by his own bill

Sen. Ted Lieu shepherded important legislation past fierce opposition this year and should have been basking in the knowledge that he had protected college students and taxpayers….

The New York Times

August 21, 2014

Editorial — Get Predatory Colleges Out of Job Training

For-profit educational institutions that leave students with heavy debts and worthless credentials do not belong in the nation’s job-training system. Yet institutions like Corinthian Colleges, which reached an agreement last month with the Department of Education to sell or shut down its campuses, have been ripping off students and taxpayers for years by making false promises and cashing in on federal job-training programs. Regulators and lawmakers have been slow to catch on….

San Francisco Chronicle

August 8, 2014

Editorial — Reinvest in community colleges

Corinthian Colleges Inc. which operates 107 campuses across the country, has become a cautionary tale about for-profit education. The company, which is based in Santa Ana, has collapsed: It’s agreed to shut 12 campuses and sell the rest under an agreement with the U.S. Department of Education. In business, this is generally called an orderly transition. But the disorder in this situation goes deep…..

The Sacramento Bee

August 7, 2014

Editorial — Legitimate for-profit colleges should welcome legislation to clean up their industry

Once again, some California legislators are trying to impose more regulation on for-profit colleges. Once again, for-profit colleges are fighting the effort….

The Charleston Gazette (W Va.)

July 29, 2014

Editorial — Beware predatory ‘colleges’

The Everest Institute is closing its Cross Lanes campus and phasing out 125 students — after a federal crackdown accused the Institute’s parent, Corinthian Colleges Inc., of dubious practices. Federal loan money to the chain was suspended. To settle U.S. claims, Corinthian agreed to sell 85 campuses and close 12 others….

St. Louis Post Dispatch

July 21, 2014

Bottom line first, students second at some for-profit colleges

So long, Everest College, and good riddance.
The for-profit enterprise operating in three Missouri cities — Earth City, Kansas City and Springfield — will be closing those sites and some of its nearly 100 others around the country. What it doesn’t close, it will sell….

The New York Times

July 17, 2014

For-Profit Colleges Under Investigation

It seemed until recently that regulators and law enforcement agencies would never rein in the predatory for-profit colleges that enrich themselves and their shareholders by misrepresenting their programs, saddling students with high-cost loans and then shoving them out the door with useless degrees or no degrees at all. The situation began to change in 2011, when a group of state attorneys general led by Jack Conway of Kentucky joined forces to investigate a growing number of complaints from students who had been exploited. With so much happening at the state level — 36 attorneys general are now involved — federal agencies had no choice but to take notice….

Chicago Sun-Times

July 13, 2014

For-profit schools can’t prey on students

One reason to go to college is to get new experiences, but being defrauded shouldn’t be one of them….

The New York Times

July 8, 2014

Editorial – Lessons of a For-Profit College Collapse

For-profit colleges are lobbying hard to weaken rules proposed by the Obama administration that would deny federal aid to career training programs that burden students with crippling debt and worthless credentials. But a recent spate of state and federal investigations into potentially predatory behavior by the for-profit sector — combined with the collapse of Corinthian Colleges, one of the country’s largest operators of for-profit colleges and trade schools — makes clear that the rules need to be strengthened and that federal oversight generally needs to be broadened….

The Modesto Bee

July 2, 2014

Our View: Next VA chief has a lot on his plate

We knew it would be impossible for President Barack Obama to pick the right person to be the secretary of Veterans Affairs. If Obama had nominated a former general, he or she would have been criticized for being too close to the military. If Obama had nominated a medical administrator, she or he wouldn’t have had enough military experience. If Obama had nominated a member of Congress, he would have been accused of playing politics….

Sacramento Bee

July 1, 2014

Editorial: Next VA chief must crack down on for-profit colleges

Corporate executive Robert McDonald, who was nominated Monday to be the new secretary of Veterans Affairs, faces a gargantuan task to get the agency back on track….

DesMoines Register

May 26, 2014

Editorial: Credit Tom Miller for pursuing for-profit college ‘abuser’

While visiting a military base in 2012, President Obama talked about a for-profit college recruiter “who had the nerve to visit a barracks at Camp Lejeune and enroll Marines with brain injuries.” The soldiers were so injured they couldn’t recall what courses they had been signed up for. The recruiters weren’t concerned. They were seeking students with a guaranteed stream of federal education benefits. “They’re trying to swindle and hoodwink you,” Obama said….

The Spokesman-Review (WA)

May 20, 2014

Editorial: Students, taxpayers both deserve protection

Colleges with higher loan default rates than graduation rates should not be eligible for federal lending programs, but they are. Sometime this month, the U.S. Department of Education will release tighter rules, but officials may first want to study an analysis of for-profit career colleges that shows the crackdown doesn’t go far enough. Typically, such colleges offer practical course work that’s designed to lead to employment in specific fields, such as cosmetology, web design and criminal justice. But too often they produce shattered dreams, and a lifetime of debt….

The New York Times

May 18, 2014

Editorial – Do Better on Predatory Colleges

The Obama administration’s proposed rules that would deny federal aid to career training programs that saddle students with crushing debt and useless credentials are a clear improvement over the disastrous status quo. But they will need to be strengthened to fully protect students and taxpayers from predatory for-profit schools that rely on federal student aid for up to 90 percent of their revenue and are well versed in the art of evading the law….

Herald Review (IL)

May 13, 2014

Editorial – Be wary of for-profit diplomas

As the school year winds down, a number of Central Illinois high school students, the unemployed and underemployed may consider a quick degree or certificate as a route to a better life. Be forewarned: That road can come with unexpected costs and problems. Some of the best-known names among for-profit schools appear to forsake their students’ hard-earned money and time in exchange for diplomas or certificates that aren’t worth the paper they’re written on. That’s what is behind a new federal bill proposed by U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat,…

The New York Times

April 16, 2014

Editorial: Reining In Predatory Schools

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. The administration should actually strengthen the rules to put the worst actors in this industry under tighter scrutiny…..

Los Angeles Times

March 23, 2014

Editorial: Holding For-Profit Colleges Accountable

For-profit colleges that wildly exaggerate their graduates’ success and talk prospective attendees into taking on extraordinary debt are not only harming their students but costing taxpayers billions of dollars on wasted Pell grants and defaulted federal student loans. After an earlier court defeat, the Obama administration is trying again to set rules to stop schools from overpromising to attract students. This time, the rules should stick….

Sacramento Bee

March 15, 2014

Editorial: Federal rules make it harder for for-profit colleges to rip off students

When it comes to choosing whether to attend a for-profit college, it’s buyer beware. In too many cases, students emerge from a career training program to find they have a big bill – but not enough skills to land a job. Taxpayers shouldn’t have to assist in this fleecing of students by shady businesses that promise more than they can deliver, and that’s the point behind “gainful employment” rules developed by the Obama administration. Under the new rules released Friday, for-profit programs at colleges can’t have a loan default rate higher than 30 percent and grads can’t have loan repayments that exceed 20 percent of their discretionary income or 8 percent total income….

The News Tribune (WA)

March 3, 2014

Editorial: Predatory for-profit colleges deserve federal scrutiny

Let’s be clear: Not all for-profit colleges are bad apples. But enough of them are that they’re giving the entire industry a bad name. Even “Doonesbury” cartoonist Garry Trudeau is taking a shot at these schools. A recent storyline has fictional Walden College retooling itself as a for-profit, shifting “scarce resources from instruction to marketing” in order to compete for federal student aid money. “Game on, University of Phoenix!” one character exclaims. Too many for-profits seem more concerned with pulling in financial aid money than whether their students graduate or are adequately educated for the job market if they do earn a diploma. Often any credits they earn don’t transfer to public or private not-for-profit colleges – something applicants aren’t told. Former school employees have complained about being pressured to sign up any warm body, even if it was obvious the prospective student was unlikely to succeed. Former military members and low-income people with few other higher-education alternatives have been particularly targeted….

The Spokesman-Review (WA)

March 2, 2014

Editorial: Better oversight of for-profit colleges overdue

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau sued ITT Educational Services Inc. this week, another sign federal and state officials are finally addressing abuses by for-profit schools feeding on billions of government dollars. Students, and the U.S. Treasury, are past due for some relief. According to a 2010 study the for-profit industry itself commissioned, the default rate on loans made to its students is almost triple that for those going to four-year public colleges, and double that for community colleges. A two-year investigation by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions concluded the situation was far worse: “Students who attended a for-profit college accounted for 47 percent of all Federal student loan defaults.”…


December 27, 2013

Editorial – Simple rule change could help eliminate financial-aid fraud

Earlier this month, a grand jury charged the Carnegie Career College founders with conspiring to steal $2.3 million in federal student aid. The founders and a third defendant have denied the charges and are waiting their day in court. According to the indictment reported in The Repository on Dec. 13, Carnegie recruited students who didn’t have a high school diploma or GED by claiming those students could receive credentials while attending the college and receiving student aid. The school allegedly obtained fake diplomas from “online high schools.” The fake diplomas allowed the owners to obtain more than $2 million dollars in student aid that federal authorities claim they spent on vacations, vehicles and property for themselves….

Minnesota Daily

October 13, 2013

Editorial – State action against for-profit colleges

More than a year after the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions produced a shocking report on the manipulative and wasteful practices of the nation’s for-profit colleges, Congress has yet to take any meaningful action on the issue. And despite the bad press it received after the Senate’s investigation, for-profit colleges continue to use abhorrent recruiting practices to get students to enroll in worthless degree programs. Thankfully, a group of students has decided to take action….

Minnesota Daily

September 16, 2013

Editorial – Who does John Kline represent?

Recent events in the House of Representatives have revealed just how far politicians are willing to go for campaign contributions. Last month, USA Today reported that House Education Committee Chairman Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., who has received generous campaign contributions from for-profit colleges, is pushing legislation that would protect the industry from losing federal aid, which accounts for much of their revenue. Kline and two others introduced the bill, titled “Supporting Academic Freedom through Regulatory Relief Act,” on July 10. It would prohibit the Obama administration from restricting federal student aid from schools whose students graduate with lots of debt and have low repayment rates. The for-profit…


September 9, 2013

Editorial – The Cost of Training Doctors Offshore

U.S. tax dollars are financing for-profit medical schools in the Caribbean that are not accredited in the U.S., Janet Lorin reports in the October issue of Bloomberg Markets magazine, putting taxpayers, students and patients at risk. The U.S. may face a doctor shortage, but this isn’t the way to fix it. Thanks to a legal loophole, three schools — American University of the Caribbean in St. Maarten and Ross University in Dominica, both owned by DeVry Inc. (DV), and….

The Bellingham Herald

July 29, 2013

More oversight for poor performing for-profits

Instead, some members of Congress – who perhaps only coincidentally also get hefty donations from for-profit colleges – are actively fighting efforts to improve oversight and accountability. They want to keep it easy for these schools to continue raking in the big bucks – more than $30 billion in taxpayer dollars every year – while turning out so few job-ready graduates. Alarmed by reports that for-profit schools educate only 10 percent of college students yet account for almost half of student loan defaults, the Obama administration has tried to implement rules that would cut federal aid to low-performing schools, be they for-profit or not.

Kansas City Star

July 18, 2013

Editorial – Risky for-profit colleges need better oversight

Jennifer Kerr took a mighty leap of faith when she sued a for-profit college for misrepresenting what kind of degree she’d be earning and its value to her future. Tucked into her contract with Vatterott Educational Centers Inc. was a provision that, should she sue and lose, Kerr would be responsible for Vatterott’s legal costs. The Kansas City-area woman’s gamble paid off last month when a Jackson County jury ordered the corporation to pay her $27,676 in actual damages — about the amount of money she took out in student loans — and a stunning $13 million in punitive damages. The verdict is outside the limits set by Missouri law and will be lowered, but it is a validation of Kerr’s case and a shining example of the justice system coming through for an underdog.

Tampa Bay Times

June 20, 2013

Editorial: Rein in loan excesses at for-profit schools

If at first government doesn’t succeed at reining in exploitative for-profit colleges, it must try again. Renewed efforts by the Obama administration to crack down on exploitative for-profit programs are good for unsuspecting students and taxpayers. To ensure the health of the federal financial aid system for future generations, the government must find a way to prevent bad actors from getting a share. The for-profit sector is a fast-growing subset of higher education, where steep tuitions can be heavily subsidized through federal student aid programs but default rates are far higher than at nonprofit private or public institutions. Not all for-profit colleges are suspect. But a 2012 U.S. Senate investigation found that many deployed aggressive recruitment tactics, preying on the poor and ill-prepared who rely on federal student aid to attend. Some compare the situation to the subprime mortgage crisis that saw unprepared buyers take out loans they couldn’t afford.

The Columbia Chronicle


Editorial — For-profits, against students

The Protecting Financial Aid for Students and Taxpayers Act, introduced to the U.S. Senate on March 12, would ban colleges from using federal aid money for marketing and recruitment. The proposed legislation, co-sponsored by Sens. Kay Hagan (D–N.C.) and Tom Harkin (D–Iowa), targets for-profit colleges, many of which engage in aggressive marketing strategies using large amounts of taxpayer money. Some problematic for-profit colleges put profits above student success, and aggressive and deceptive recruitment is a big part of the problem….

Stockton Record


Editorial — No shortcuts to good education

A report out this week from the Legislative Analyst’s Office offers encouraging news about new rules for the state’s Cal Grant program. The new rules have disqualified 80 percent of the state’s for-profit colleges – 154 in all – from the financial aid program. And what are the egregious rules that have pushed these schools away from the public trough? Schools now must show a graduation rate of at least 30 percent and a loan default rate of less than 15.5 percent to participate in the Cal Grant program. The rule change will save the state an estimated $50 million this year….

Charleston Daily Mail


Editorial — On Veterans Day 2012, look out for new vets

The post World War II GI Bill transformed the lives of millions of veterans and their families. By 1956, about 2.2 million World War II veterans had used the education benefits to attend colleges or universities. Another 6.6 million veterans used the benefit to attend some kind of training program. The post-9/11 bill for veterans is generous as well. It pays college tuition directly to the school, gives the veteran a monthly living allowance, and provides $1,000 a year for books for those who served 36 consecutive months or more. Benefits are pro-rated for shorter service….

New York Times


Editorial — Misleading Advice for Student Borrowers

Federal student loan default rates are rising ever higher, with the worst rates among those who attended for-profit colleges. For-profit schools account for about 13 percent of higher education enrollment but nearly half of all defaults. New data from the Department of Education show that 22.7 percent of students from for-profit schools who began repayment in 2009 defaulted within three years. That’s twice the three-year default rate of public colleges and three times the rate at private, nonprofit institutions….

Toledo Blade


Editorial — Default judgment

Many more college students, in Ohio and across the country, are taking out loans — often for tens of thousands of dollars — to help finance their education. As the economy and job market remain slow to recover, more of these borrowers are falling far behind on paying back their loans, including those made or guaranteed by the federal government….

Journal Sentinel (Milwaukee, WI)


Editorial — Everest’s failing grade leaves its students behind

Everest College failed its students in Milwaukee. There’s no other way to put it. We’re glad that the chain vocational school has agreed to pay off loans incurred by the dropouts at its downtown campus, but those students still wasted their time chasing a dream that apparently didn’t exist. The Journal Sentinel’s Daniel Bice reported that half of the 1,585 students who enrolled at the school since October 2010 have dropped out, and the school’s own records indicate that it only placed 95 students in jobs by the end of July….

Boston Globe


Editorial — For-profit colleges need closer scrutiny

Across America, recent higher-ed graduates and dropouts are feeling burned because the educations they counted on to bring them prosperity have instead yielded deep debts but few job offers. The picture is particularly bleak for students at for-profit colleges Ñ a sector that, in an alternate universe, could be leading the innovation in higher education. For-profit schools often seek to provide vocational skills rather than traditional academic training and could, in theory, move more quickly to respond to changes in what employers are demanding. The industry argues that it gives working parents, returning service members, and other nontraditional students more freedom to earn degrees….

Concord Monitor


Editorial — Student loans need even more reforms

Former president Bill Clinton used part of his speech at the Democratic National Convention to tout President Obama’s executive order tying the student loan repayment plans of several million students to their ability to pay. The plan caps monthly payments at 10 percent of the debtor’s discretionary income, down from the 15 percent cap imposed by Congress last year. Students who are diligent about making payments for 20 years will have any remaining balance forgiven….

The Gainesville Sun


Editorial — For-profit excesses

Escalating costs of attending state universities, and funding state and community colleges, is putting pressure on higher-education students and administrators in Florida. There are alternatives, including private, for-profit colleges, but beware. While many for-profit institutions, particularly those that offer online degrees, market themselves as offering complication-free enrollment and flexible scheduling, relatively few degrees are issued. Such education comes at a high price.

Journal Gazette (Fort Wayne)


Editorial — Proceed with care

A for-profit college’s local recruiting event is billed as an information session for unemployed veterans, with an opportunity to meet Democratic Mayor Tom Henry and Republican Congressman Marlin Stutzman. But veterans groups are issuing warnings that GI Bill benefits have become an attractive target for for-profit colleges and that veterans should be wary. A spokesman for the mayor now says Henry won’t attend, but Stutzman’s office confirmed he would participate. The congressman should be careful before signing on to any particular recruiting effort, especially if a for-profit college is involved.

Lawrence Journal World (KS)


Editorial — Education need

The Kansas Board of Regents is right to be concerned about the increasing number of students who are choosing to attend for-profit colleges instead of state-supervised universities, community colleges and vocational-technical schools. There is no reason the Kansas higher education system can’t provide what a large proportion of those students are looking for Ñ and at a lower cost.

Charleston Gazette


Editorial — Beware of for-profit colleges

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Dismally, a new congressional report says many for-profit colleges use high-pressure recruiting to enroll marginal students, saddle them with large federal loans, and cast them adrift with no degrees — while school executives and stockholders pocket fat profits. The commercial colleges mostly live off U.S. taxpayers, taking more than $30 billion a year in student loan money. Their students fail to repay the loans at a sickening rate.

The Oregonian


Editorial — For-profit college report card is unsettling

Appearing in the last sputtering days of the congressional session, the story was more or less overlooked — except by “Doonesbury” — but it was ringing language from a Senate committee chairman. “In this report,” said Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, “you will find overwhelming documentation of exorbitant tuition, aggressive recruiting practices, abysmal student outcomes, taxpayer dollars spent on marketing and pocketed as profit, and regulatory evasion and manipulation.”

The Ledger (FL)


Editorial — For-Profit Colleges: Costly For-Profit Failures

Escalating costs of attending state universities, and funding state and community colleges, is putting pressure on higher-education students and administrators in Florida. There are alternatives, including private, for-profit colleges, but beware. While many for-profit institutions, particularly those that offer online degrees, market themselves as offering complication-free enrollment and flexible scheduling, relatively few degrees are issued. Such education comes at a high price. A scathing report issued by a U.S. Senate committee in late July concludes that for-profit colleges are failing their students and sticking taxpayers with the tab for most of those uncompleted educations.

The Spokesman Review (Spokane)


Editorial — For-profit colleges are wasting public funds

With federal deficits widening and revenue prospects bleak, Congress needs to become a better bargain hunter. Nowhere is this more evident than with federal subsidies for higher education. Hundreds of billions of dollars are at stake, so taxpayers have a right to expect colleges and universities to produce students with diplomas in exchange for federal aid. Traditional schools are struggling to keep up their end of that bargain, but it’s at the for-profit colleges that scandalous amounts of waste are taking place. Enrollment at for-profit colleges, such as the University of Phoenix, Kaplan and ITT Technical Institute, has exploded in the past 15 years, as more people are drawn to the flexibility of online learning. From 1998 to 2008, enrollment tripled at these schools, which are mostly owned by publicly traded companies.

Shreveport Times


Editorial — For-profit college industry needs reform, monitoring

After two years of review, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee’s thorough investigation of the for-profit college industry clearly indicates now is the time for reform. In a four-volume final report released July 30 that covered thousands of pages, the HELP Committee examined industry practices, corporate finances and student outcomes. In the process, the review showed that billions of taxpayer dollars are feeding an industry filled with a toxic confab of misleading sales tactics, unmanageable student debt loads, low completion rates and rising evidence of fraud. Obviously, there are issues with cost and quality in almost all areas of higher education, too, but for the for-profit industry is in a class by itself, according to Lauren Asher, president of The Institute for College Access and Success. “The industry has the highest dependence on federal funding ($32 billion a year), the highest share of students with debt, the highest debt loads for degrees, and by far the highest student loan default rates of any sector,” Asher said in a news release. “These differences remain stark even after considering student demographics. The industry has the highest dependence on federal funding ($32 billion a year), the highest student loan default rates of any sector.”

Standard Examiner


Editorial — For-profit debt studies

For-profit colleges like to promise a lot when it comes to future jobs for students, but a new federal report reveals that for too many desperate adults seeking a way to be educated and work at the same time, for-profit teaching leads to a huge student loan debt and poor job prospects. We urge adults seeking higher education opportunities to look toward traditional options which are cheaper. Remember that student loans will one day need to be paid. If you can’t afford the tuition, don’t go there.

Standard Examiner (Ogden UT)


Editorial — For-profit debt studies

For-profit colleges like to promise a lot when it comes to future jobs for students, but a new federal report reveals that for too many desperate adults seeking a way to be educated and work at the same time, for-profit teaching leads to a huge student loan debt and poor job prospects. We urge adults seeking higher education opportunities to look toward traditional options which are cheaper. Remember that student loans will one day need to be paid. If you can’t afford the tuition, don’t go there….



Editorial — Akst: Higher education system needs some schooling

Thanks to a ferocious report from a Senate committee, we now know that the for-profit college industry is a business rife with abuses. Little is spent on instruction, and the most vulnerable people are encouraged to apply by “recruiters” who often use boiler-room sales tactics. Most students drop out, only to find themselves burdened with student debt yet lacking a degree to help them pay for it. When the report came out, the committee’s Republican minority complained that the panel should have probed traditional nonprofit colleges as well….

The News Tribune (Tacoma)


Editorial — Too many for-profit colleges fail to deliver for students

A new Senate education committee report on the nation’s for-profit colleges paints a disturbing picture of billions in taxpayer dollars being spent on student aid, with precious little to show for it. Tuition at these colleges tends to be pricey, with associate degrees costing at least four times as much as comparable community college programs. Yet many of the credits students earn are not transferable to other institutions and often don’t qualify them for the professional licensing they need ? despite what the TV commercials claim. More than a quarter of federal student aid now goes to for-profit schools ? and that doesn’t even include military GI Bill benefits. These schools are aggressively pitching their sales messages to veterans ? sometimes even as they are recuperating from war injuries. Only after the vets have spent their benefits do they discover that they have little to show for it.

The Patriot-News (PA)


Editorial — Failing grade: Congress must reform for-profit college system

Get an education. That is the advice we give to anyone struggling to earn a decent living in our country. And that is just what many people, including the poor, laid-off workers and abuse victims have tried to do by signing up to attend for-profit colleges. But it turns out that many of those students are not getting a degree, and the colleges they enrolled in seem to be more interested in making money than helping them graduate.

The Palm Beach Post


Editorial — Protect students from being duped by for-profit colleges

For a sense of how much for-profit colleges are growing, look at Keiser University. In 2001, the Fort Lauderdale-based school had fewer than than 4,000 students. By 2010, it had more than 18,000, both online and spread across 14 Florida campuses, including a large one in West Palm Beach. With that growth have come big concerns about the intersection of education and profit. Keiser, a for-profit university until it converted to non-profit status last year, formed part of the rapidly growing for-profit education industry, which has raked in billions of dollars from the rising demand for higher education. Enabling that demand has been the availability of federal student loans and grants. Like many other for-profits, Keiser has drawn scrutiny for how it makes its money. In 2010, the Florida Attorney General targeted the university as part of a statewide investigation into potential “misrepresentations regarding financial aid” and “deceptive practices regarding recruitment, enrollment, (and) placement” at for-profit universities. The investigation continues.

Scranton Times-Tribune


Editorial — Less Profit, More College

For-profit colleges contend that a scathing report on their operations by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions unfairly focuses on the for-profit sector. The argument might fly if the two-year committee investigation, led by Sen. Tom Harkin, had not produced abundant data and internal information from many of the companies themselves to support the conclusions….

The Sun (IA)


Editorial — The rising concern over debt and for-profit colleges

We join our U.S. senator in his fight to help kids go to college – and not leave with mountains of debt. Sen. Tom Harkin has been a champion – sometimes the only one – expressing concern about student loans and for-profit schools. To be clear: We’re all for competition among institutions of higher education, and don’t view for-profit colleges as bad deals. They have a place alongside places like our own nonprofit Cornell College. The trouble, though, is what Harkin lays out in an investigation into the issue….

The Free Press (Mankato, MN)


Editorial — We deserve better from for-profit colleges

A recent congressional report on for-profit colleges was a stinging indictment of a racket in which some colleges are less interested in providing a good education and guiding students than they are in grabbing all the federal money they can. The report, issued by Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, found that taxpayers are spending $32 billion a year in grants and loans to students attending the for-profit colleges and getting too little in return….

Times Call (CO)


Editorial — For-profit schools get a bad grade

Last week, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions — chaired by Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa — released a report that damned just about every aspect of for-profit U.S. colleges. Republicans on the committed criticized the report, as did Steve Gunderson, president of the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities, who said the report “twists the facts to fit a narrative, proving that this is nothing more than continued political attacks on private sector colleges and universities.” Sounds like business as usual in America. The report did acknowledge that for-profit colleges fill an unmet need and offer accessible campuses, online learning and a flexible approach to learning.

Tampa Bay Times


Editorial — For-profit colleges: raw deal for taxpayers

The for-profit college industry would barely exist without federal tuition aid, but a new report by U.S. Senate Democrats says that taxpayers are getting a raw deal. The real beneficiaries of the for-profit college sector are not students seeking to brighten their futures with more education. They are the executives and shareholders who have built a “profits over academic progress” model. The study released by Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, is the culmination of a two-year investigation into the unsavory practices of for-profit colleges. This industry receives more than $30 billion a year in taxpayer funds.

The Reporter (PA)


Editorial — Education and profit motive don’t mix well

The U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions issued a report last week with a revealing title: “For-Profit Higher Education: The Failure to Safeguard the Federal Investment and Ensure Student Success.” I doubt if many people will read the entire 1,100-page document, but the 14-page executive summary will tell you just about all you need to know: Every year, hundreds of thousands of students emerge from the for-profit sector of higher education with, as the summary puts it, “debt but no degree.”

Merced Sun Star


Editorial — Our View: For-profit college risk clear in report

California still has lax licensing and review of for-profit colleges to ensure that students get real training, not just a large debt. But the governor and Legislature have done something important to ensure that state financial aid dollars don’t go to for-profit colleges that depend heavily on federal student borrowing. For 2012-13, California’s Cal Grant program awards will not be provided for attendance at schools with low graduation or completion rates and whose students have a poor track record of paying off federal loans. California’s stiffer rules are vindicated by a scathing report from the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, after a two-year investigation of the for-profit college industry. The dependence of for-profits on federal funding is huge, according to the Senate committee report, accounting for $32 billion of $130 billion (25 percent) in federal student loans and grants — though the for-profits have only 10 percent of total college student enrollment.

The Roanoke Times


Editorial — The high cost of for-profit education

Even their harshest critics acknowledge that the country needs for-profit colleges to fill a gap between the growing demand for post-secondary education and existing capacity at public and nonprofit colleges and universities. The staunchest supporters of for-profit institutions ought to acknowledge, but do not, that many of the biggest providers are wildly successful at raking in profits, but not at educating students. And that’s a problem. That failure is costing taxpayers billions of dollars, while leaving most students without a degree.

Star-Ledger (NJ)


Editorial — For-profit colleges must stop ripping off students, taxpayers

Operators of for-profit colleges hit the jackpot: They’re reeling in millions of adults seeking training in fields such as nursing or information technology, who see the schools as their last, best chance to snag a decent job. But the reality is the schools grow rich on billions in federal dollars while students graduate with enormous debt and no job prospects. A U.S. Senate committee headed by Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) recently laid out the facts of the for-profit college world after a two-year investigation that is thorough Ñ and damning. Most of the annual $32 billion in federal funds the schools rake in goes toward marketing and recruitment Ñ not the classroom. Many of the courses lack rigor and support services for students are meager. They cost, on average, about four times as much as similar courses at public universities and community colleges. Average annual salary of the executives leading the 30 companies reviewed in the report: $7.3 million.

The Modesto Bee


Editorial — For-profit college risk clear in report

California still has lax licensing and review of for-profit colleges to ensure that students get real training, not just a large debt. But the governor and Legislature have done something important to ensure that state financial aid dollars don’t go to for-profit colleges that depend heavily on federal student borrowing. For 2012-13, California’s Cal Grant program awards will not be provided for attendance at schools with low graduation or completion rates and whose students have a poor track record of paying off federal loans. California’s stiffer rules are vindicated by a scathing report from the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, after a two-year investigation of the for-profit college industry. The dependence of for-profits on federal funding is huge, according to the Senate committee report, accounting for $32 billion of $130 billion (25 percent) in federal student loans and grants Ñ though the for-profits have only 10 percent of total college student enrollment.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


Editorial — Failed schools: Congress must fix the for-profit college industry

The Senate education committee’s scorching report on the for-profit college industry came as no surprise. Although much of the problem had been described at public hearings and in preliminary releases, the findings issued Monday still paint a disturbing picture of taxpayer-dependent, profit-driven schools that promise too much, deliver too little and leave students — many of them without degrees — too deep in debt. Sen. Tom Harkin, the Iowa Democrat who chairs the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and who led the two-year inquiry, concluded, “These practices are not the exception — they are the norm. They are systemic throughout the industry, with very few individual exceptions.”

New York Times


Editorial — Closer Scrutiny of For-Profit Schools

The last several weeks have not been particularly restful for the lucrative for-profit education industry. A federal judge upheld the Department of Education’s right to regulate unscrupulous for-profit schools that leave students with big debts and valueless credentials. A Senate committee released a blistering report showing that many of these schools pocket huge profits, even though most students leave without degrees. A study from the National Bureau of Economic Research found that people who started in programs awarding an associate degree Ñ a big slice of the student population Ñ reaped significant economic rewards with degrees from public and nonprofit institutions. Those with degrees or certificates from for-profits did not.



Editorial — Rein in abuses by for-profit colleges

Wounded veterans. Victims of abuse. The recently incarcerated. The grieving. The poor. The self-doubting. These are just the kinds of people who might benefit most from more education. Unfortunately, they’re also the people aggressively targeted by for-profit colleges concerned more with making a quick buck than developing human potential. In the push to get more Americans into college, many people had high hopes for profit-making schools, which often focus more intensively on job skills and specialize in the non-traditional students who have come to predominate among America’s undergraduates.

Deseret News (Salt Lake City, UT)


Editorial — For-Profit Colleges Get An “F”

Imagine an industry that receives 86 percent of its revenues from the federal government Ñ $32 billion in a single year Ñ but more often than not fails to turn out a successful product. Imagine that this same industry pays its executives an average of $7.3 million a year, while leaving its consumers and taxpayers poorer. That, according to a U.S. Senate committee report, describes the for-profit college business. As the prime driver of the burgeoning student debt, this industry is overdue for reform. Unfortunately, it is also adept at persuading members of Congress to fall for its spin, or at least look the other way….

San Francisco Chronicle


Editorial — Flaws in aid to for-profit colleges

A scathing new U.S. Senate report should compel Congress to significantly elevate the requirements for for-profit colleges to tap federal funds. The two-year investigation showed the extent to which this growing segment of higher education has relied on government assistance – and the dismal return on investment for students who attend these schools. Students at for-profit colleges represent 13 percent of the nation’s college enrollment and 47 percent of its loan defaults. Taxpayers provided $32 billion to for-profit colleges in 2009-10, accounting for about 80 percent of those schools’ revenue, the Senate researchers found.

The Sacramento Bee


Editorial — Senate report details risks of for-profit colleges

California still has lax licensing and review of for-profit colleges to ensure that students get real training, and not just a large debt. But the governor and Legislature have done something important to ensure that state financial aid dollars don’t go to for-profits that depend heavily on federal student borrowing. California’s Cal Grant awards for the 2012-13 school year ? the largest source of state aid to college students ? were announced Tuesday….

Florida Times-Union


Editorial — How for-profit colleges are ripping off students and taxpayers

A U.S. Senate report exposing egregious operations of for-profit colleges should shock and outrage all who have felt defrauded by what amounts to higher education scams. And for those considering the University of Phoenix, Kaplan and other for-profit colleges, be warned. A report out earlier this week shows how they are ripping off students and taxpayers even more than anyone could have imagined. The problem, of course, is that members of Congress have been slow to crack down on their brazen practices or rein in federal support for these businesses. The schools, which rely on federal financial-aid money for as much as 90 percent of their revenue, received $32 billion in tuition aid in 2009-2010, according to the study, which pointed out that for-profits spent more on marketing than on instruction. Think about that.

The Portland Press Herald (ME)


Editorial — For-profit college aid should be tied to results

These businesses succeed even while their students fail, and taxpayers get the bill. It’s time to rethink the system that funnels federal funds into businesses set up as for-profit colleges and universities. A scathing report presented to a U.S. Senate committee Monday reveals a setup that does more to enrich investors and executives than it does to improve students’s lives — and does it almost entirely on the taxpayers’ dime. According to the study, schools spend an inordinate amount of money on marketing and recruiting, hooking customers up with federal student aid programs including Pell Grants and subsidized Stafford loans.

Kennebec Journal


Editorial — For-profit colleges not good use of taxpayer funds

It’s time to rethink the system that funnels federal funds into businesses set up as for-profit colleges and universities. A scathing report presented to a U.S. Senate committee on Monday reveals a setup that does more to enrich investors and executives than it does to improve students’s lives — and does it almost entirely on the taxpayer’s dime. According to the study, schools spend an inordinate amount of money on marketing and recruiting, hooking customers up with federal student aid programs including Pell Grants and subsidized Stafford loans.

The Journal Gazette (Fort Wayne, IN)


Editorial — College scam clampdown

A two-year congressional investigation lays bare the for-profit college industry’s strategy: Recruit vulnerable students to tap into billions in federal financial aid; spend little on instruction and counseling; leave students with crippling debt and little chance of landing a job. The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, led by Iowa Democrat Tom Harkin, examined 30 companies and came away with a scathing indictment of an industry that preys on low-income students, veterans and taxpayers.

Chicago Sun Times


Editorial — A lesson in greed in for-profit school industry

Twenty-four years ago, after the Chicago Sun-Times published “Bitter Lessons,” an investigative series on the for-profit school industry, this page called for major reforms. “Some of these schools leave the students without an education, without a job and without a dream,” we wrote. “But they are left with something: an obligation to pay back a student loan, often running into the thousands of dollars.” Nothing has changed since then, except this: It has gotten worse Ñ the crummy education, the enormous student debt, the exploitation.

Press Democrat (Santa Rosa, CA)


Editorial — Caveat emptor: for-profit college risks

Republicans on the committee and trade groups representing private colleges such as the University of Phoenix and DeVry University quickly criticized the report, contending its numbers were skewed to paint for-profits in a bad light. But the numbers are difficult to refute. And the conclusions are similar to the findings of other studies on a segment of secondary education that has ballooned in recent years. According to the report, enrollment in for-profit colleges have more than tripled, to about 2.4 million students, from 1998 to 2008….

Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)


Editorial — Call to Action

A Senate Committee has produced a withering review of the fast-growing, for-profit college industry nationwide – one where about half the students fail to get degrees and are left with nothing except thousands of dollars in debt. It is an industry rife with exorbitant tuition, aggressive recruiting and abysmal student outcomes, according to U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, an Iowa Democrat whose Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee conducted the two-year investigation.

USA Today


Editorial — For-profit college. What a racket.

Waste in the federal government always generates consternation. Remember the “bridge to nowhere,” the $398 million route to a largely unpopulated Alaskan island contained in a 2005 spending bill? Or how about Solyndra, the solar energy company that went bankrupt after receiving $535 million in government loans from the Obama administration? Such programs are as indefensible as they are common, but they aren’t the most costly form of federal waste. More troubling is the far greater sums that line the pockets of powerful special interests.

New York Times


Editorial — False Promises

It has long been clear that an oily subgroup of for-profit schools were doing very well for themselves by recruiting students who had no real chance of graduating, pocketing their federal financial aid and leaving the students with valueless credentials Ñ or none at all Ñ and crippling debt. A dismaying study released this week by Senator Tom Harkin, a Democrat of Iowa, suggests that this predatory behavior Ñ which costs taxpayers tens of billions of dollars a year Ñ may extend well beyond the unscrupulous few to the industry as a whole. The study reveals a disturbing pattern in which companies use misleading tactics to lure poorly informed students into certificate and associate degree programs that average about four times the cost of similar programs in comparable community colleges.

St. Louis Post Dispatch


Editorial — Feds need to do more to rein in for-profit colleges

It’s disappointing that a federal judge has rejected the Department of Education’s attempt to crack down on for-profit colleges that are handing out student loans like Halloween candy. Judge Rudolph Contreras of the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., determined June 30 that new rules intended to protect students from graduating with huge debt loads and poor job prospects were arbitrary. The Department of Education must get back to the drawing board and submit a better set of rules. Much like the congressional decision on student loan rates, there is little time to waste in finding a workable solution.

The New York Times


Editorial: Looking for Rats in Ratholes

A federal judge in Washington has overturned a central provision of the Obama administration’s rules for evaluating career-training programs that receive federal student aid. But the judge left the door open for the Department of Education to rewrite the regulations and strongly reaffirmed its authority to rein in unscrupulous, for-profit schools that bury students in debt while giving them valueless certificates or degrees. Instead of backing down, the department should revise the regulations and increase its efforts to make this industry accountable.

San Francisco Chronicle


Editorial — For-profit colleges must meet standards

The U.S. Department of Education is struggling to find the right way to regulate for-profit colleges. A federal judge in Washington just overturned a major component of the department’s new “gainful employment” rules, which were scheduled to go into effect on Sunday. Despite the setback, the department has to keep trying to find the right solution. There’s too much at stake.

Lexington Herald Leader


Editorial: Vets deserve education, not scams

In the world of unethical business practices, almost nothing is more despicable than preying on soldiers. So everyone can be glad that Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway and 19 of his fellow AGs have shut down deceptive marketing of for-profit colleges by a site called GIBill.com. The California company, QuinStreet Inc., which operated the site, also agreed to pay $2.5 million as part of a settlement announced last week, though denying that it had engaged in deception.

Fresno Bee


Editorial — Good to look at for-profit college success rates in Cal Grant cuts

California’s economic future depends on an educated workforce, so it’s no cause for celebration that the state budget crunch is forcing cuts in college tuition grants for needy students. But at least most of the cuts come out of the for-profit private schools with the worst graduation and loan repayment rates. The spending plan sent to Gov. Jerry Brown cuts $103 million from the Cal Grant program by 2013-14 and tightens the rules for private colleges to be eligible for the money. These sensible standards are long overdue. Many for-profit schools are doing a good job, but others have abysmal records.

Sacramento Bee


Editorial — G.I. Bill abuses show why California vets want service to count

As the California Legislature dawdles on bills to help veterans get credit for training they received while in the military, lawmakers should take note of an interesting settlement today. One of the arguments for the measures to require colleges and licensing boards to count relevant training and experience is to protect veterans from for-profit schools preying on them for their G.I. Bill benefits. In the settlement announced today, QuinStreet Inc., an Internet marketing company based in Foster City, agreed to turn over its website, www.GIBill.com, to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The company also will pay $2.5 million to 20 states whose attorneys general alleged that the website misled veterans by only listing schools that were QuinStreet clients as places where they could use their educational benefits.

Charlotte Observer


Editorial — These schools profit big, on taxpayers’ tab

Dental students at Kaplan College’s Charlotte campus in a former Toys ÔR’ Us store say they were toyed with. They were told, many say, that they could graduate in one year with a dental-assistant credential that would boost their earning power. After taking on debt to pay $18,000 in tuition and fees, they learned they could only earn a much less valuable credential. After they complained and investigations were launched, Kaplan this year gave up its license to operate the program and paid refunds to about 200 students. It’s not a surprising episode. While there may be exceptions, the for-profit college industry has been marred by a pattern of over-promising and under-delivering, and doing it almost entirely on the taxpayer’s dime.

The New York Times


Editorial — Heavy Debt, but No Degree

In the weak economy, people who graduate from name-brand colleges are struggling to repay the heavy debt they often rack up getting through school. But college debt is an even bigger problem for the growing numbers of borrowers who drop out without degrees. A study published earlier this year by Education Sector, a research group based in Washington, shows that the borrowers who drop out are more than four times more likely than those who graduate to default on their college loans because they are more likely to be unemployed and earn less when they get a job. The study, based on Department of Education data, compares student borrowers who entered college in 1995 with those who entered in 2003 to see how each group fared six years later. Students who were not enrolled and did not earn degrees after six years were classified as dropouts.

San Francisco Examiner


Editorial — For-profit colleges need stronger regulations to protect job seekers

as media outlets have reported in the last few years, some of these schools take the tuition money, offer deeply substandard educations, and send students off with a degree that many hospitals and other businesses consider worthless. All too often, these students are saddled with tens of thousands of dollars in debt, with no skills with which to work and pay it off. For years, state officials have known about this problem. But the agency set up to regulate such schools and prevent or punish abuses in the vocational education industry Ñ the California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education Ñ has been disgracefully underfunded.

USA Today


Editorial: Veterans are not ‘dollar signs in uniform’

In 2008, Congress, figuring what worked once would work again, passed an expanded law that promised the same opportunity to the new generation of veterans who had served since 9/11. But some of those GIs are seeing their opportunity squandered by for-profit colleges with low graduation rates, high costs and high loan default rates. In fact, their new benefits might be propping up some schools that otherwise would struggle to meet federal rules. The failings of many for-profits Ñ and the risks they pose for both students and taxpayers Ñ have been widely publicized.

DesMoines Register


Editorial — Heed Obama’s warning about for-profit schools

During a speech at Fort Stewart, Ga., last week, President Barack Obama talked about a college recruiter “who had the nerve to visit a barracks at Camp Lejeune and enroll Marines with brain injuries.” The Marines were so injured they couldn’t recall what courses the recruiter had signed them up for. Who would prey on vulnerable soldiers? For-profit colleges and universities that aggressively recruit members of the military who are eligible to receive federal education money. Sign them up, get their money and forget about them. “They’re trying to swindle and hoodwink you,” Obama said. He signed an executive order requiring the schools to increase support for students and provide clear information about student aid.

DesMoines Register


Editorial — For-profit colleges need close scrutiny from Congress

If you’re considering higher education for yourself or your child, you should be doing a lot of research about cost and quality. Part of that research should include reading reports about for-profit schools from Harkin and the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The senator’s investigations have disclosed deceptive marketing practices and high default rates on student loans. At one congressional hearing, a career services adviser from a for-profit school talked about being pressured to call former students and persuade them to sign forms stating they were using the skills learned in school at their current jobs. One “game art and design” student was paid $8.90 an hour working in the video game department at Toys R Us. He had incurred $100,000 in student loan debt getting his degree.

DesMoines Register


Editorial — College investment often a burden

Many families can’t afford college, and students incur backbreaking debt when they do attend. Iowa graduates owe an average of almost $30,000 in student loans, the third highest in the nation. This state ranks fourth in both the percentage of students who borrow for higher education and the percentage who later default on loans. What are students who want a chance at a better future supposed to do? No one likes to think of education as a product, but it is sold to consumers just like shampoo, cereal and cars. High school students are bombarded with advertisements in the mail.

Chicago Sun Times


Editorial: We’ll all wind up paying for huge student debt

Student loan debt topped $1 trillion for the first time late last year Ñ more than credit card or auto loan debt. Buried in that alarming statistic are countless heartbreaking stories of students who never will break free of their debt. Congress cannot let this go on. An army of young Americans shackled with loans they can never repay could be ruinous for the economy.

New York Times


Editorial — A Good Education With the G.I. Bill

Service members and veterans looking to learn more about their educational benefits under the G.I. Bill may be in trouble if they plunge unprepared into the wilds of the Internet. Many reputable private and public universities, trade schools and training programs are committed to helping veterans further their education and careers. But there are also predators itching to pad their enrollments with veterans and get their hands on government billions Ñ nearly 600,000 people are expected to enter classes under the G.I. Bill this year, with the Veterans Affairs Department footing more than $9 billion of the cost.

The New York Times


Editorial — For-Profit Education Scams

Attorneys general from more than 20 states have joined forces to investigate for-profit colleges that too often saddle students with crippling debt while furnishing them valueless degrees. The investigations have just begun. But it is already clear from testimony before a Senate committee that Congress must do more to rein in the schools and protect students. For-profit colleges are typically more expensive than public colleges, which means students graduate owing more. They account for nearly half of student loan defaults, even though they enroll a little more than 10 percent of higher education students.

Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)


Editorial — For-profit controls

Last year, a Kentucky House bill to toughen oversight of the state’s for-profit or proprietary colleges met a stonewall in the Senate. Then came a state audit that was harshly critical of the Board for Proprietary Education, whose majority works for the for-profit colleges it purports to monitor. The findings of the audit were so appalling that only the word “purports” could apply to the workings of the group. In the current legislative session, House Bill 308, a scaled-back version of the previous bill, one that would nevertheless strengthen oversight of the schools, made it out of the Democratic-dominated House and to the Republican-dominated Senate, where the chamber’s Education Committee unanimously passed it last week.

The Daily Camera (Boulder, CO)


Editorial — Problems plague for-profit colleges: Colorado scores one for students, consumers

Three cheers for Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, whose office on Wednesday announced a $4.5 million settlement with Westwood College, Inc. — one of several for-profit colleges that have attracted justified scrutiny in recent years. The settlement addresses our state’s complaint that the school violated the Consumer Protection Act by misleading students, had deceiving advertisements and failed to comply with state lending laws.

The New York Times


Editorial — Help for Student Borrowers

The federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is right to take on the poorly regulated, private student lending industry. Too often, college students are lured by schools or lenders into ruinously priced loans, even when they are eligible for affordable federal loans that offer hardship deferments and broad consumer protections. Under a new initiative, the bureau is providing one-stop shopping for complaints on billing and collection disputes, and financial institutions will have to resolve complaints within 60 days. The bureau should require lenders and schools to make the differences between loans clear, and Congress should require private lenders to contact colleges before issuing loans to determine if student borrowers are eligible for federal loans. The schools should then steer students toward the federal program.

News Journal (Delaware)


Editorial — End this for-profit dupe of our military members

At the very least, in exchange for defense of this country, our veterans should have unqualified access to the best post-secondary education we have to offer. Unfortunately, some for-profit schools don’t value their service enough to provide this guarantee. On Thursday, Sen. Tom Carper introduced a bill to close a loophole that allows these schools to exploit the government-paid tuition benefits of these members of the military.

Toledo Blade


Editorial — Close GI Bill loophole

For years, the U.S. Senate has investigated the recruiting practices of for-profit colleges. The businesses that run so-called career schools depend heavily on federal student aid, cater to low-income learners, and offer flexibility to those who must work while going to class. Some of these colleges have weak graduation rates. Senators heard troubling testimony from students and employees in 2010, and issued a report that showed some of the schools routinely promised more than they delivered. That has to stop. One sure way is to enact Senator Durbin’s bill.

USA Today


Editorial: For-profit colleges are no answer to high tuition

Out on the campaign trail, Mitt Romney is recommending for-profit colleges as an answer to rising tuition. At least once he has lauded a particular institution, Florida-based Full Sail University, which is run by a major campaign donor. A closer look at the record of for-profit universities suggests that Romney needs to go back to school on the issue. The industry is plagued by institutions with low graduation rates and high loan default rates. As for costs, the average student at a for-profit college spends $30,900 per year for tuition and living expenses, according to the Education Department. That’s almost twice the $15,600 that students at public colleges spend, and considerably more than the $26,600 that students at private, non-profit colleges spend.

Star Ledger (NJ)


Editorial: Caving to lobbyists on for-profit school regulation hurts students

Chalk up another victory for the lobbyists who protect profits over people. Students, scammed by for-profit schools promising good-paying jobs in everything from medical billing to web design, were no match for the well-connected lobbyists representing the $30 billion industry.

The Minnesota Daily


Editorial — Obama succumbs to higher ed lobby

Obama had promised to cut tens of billions of dollars in federal aid toward colleges whose graduated students weren’t earning enough money to pay back their loans Ñ numbers which the Washington Post reports are “staggering.” In all, 16 percent of the schools were supposed to be affected by the tough regulations. Instead, a mere 5 percent are, and restrictions are not nearly as tough as they should be.

Lexington Herald Leader


Editorial — Test for-profit education; weigh value of state aid

It’s encouraging that some lawmakers want to review Kentucky’s support of for-profit colleges Ñ not to pick on for-profit colleges, but because the legislature has a duty to make sure taxpayers are getting the most value possible from state spending on education.Kentucky is channeling a big chunk of its student financial aid Ñ $97 million since 1999 Ñ to for-profit schools.

Virginia Pilot


Ensuring GI Bill money is well spent

A study of the federal money spent in the past two years to send veterans to college shows some disturbing trends. Too often, veterans are using the GI Bill to go to expensive private schools that advertise flexible schedules and expedited degree programs. They take out loans to help pay the costs, but nearly half of vets drop out within a year. Many default on loans because they can’t get a decent-paying job.

The New York Times


A Broader G.I. Bill

Unless strong controls are put in place, the surge of G.I. Bill money will be a windfall for fly-by-night schools more interested in cashing in on veterans than educating them. As a Senate committee warned in a recent report, a disproportionate amount of the taxpayer money spent on veterans’ education has already been snapped up by private, for-profit colleges. These schools often cost much more than public institutions yet have dismal graduation rates and dubious curriculums.

Orlando Sentinel


Bondi needs company in watching for-profit colleges

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s consumer protection credibility took a hit last month after her office ousted two top foreclosure fraud lawyers. She tempered the damage this month when she decided Florida would join an anti-fraud lawsuit against the nation’s second-largest for-profit college chain. Bondi’s interest in cracking down on alleged fraud in the for-profit college industry in Florida is commendable. Unfortunately, her office seems to be the only state agency taking the issue seriously.

East Orlando Sun


Our Observation

Education is meant to increase students’ knowledge and develop a more educated workforce. It’s not a profit center. But don’t tell that to Florida Gov. Rick Scott. He wants the state’s higher education system to have a better balance sheet. He wants it to run like a business. Drawing from controversial policies implemented in Texas by Gov. Rick Perry to cut down on expenses and increase revenue in state colleges, Scott has called for numerous changes to higher education that could have drastic effects on the current model of how the system works.

New York Times


An Industry in Need of Accountability

The Justice Department sent a powerful message last week when it filed suit against the nation’s second-largest for-profit college company, charging it with fraudulently collecting $11 billion in federal student financial aid from 2003 through June 2011. The suit against the Education Management Corporation, which enrolls about 150,000 students in more than 100 schools, puts the for-profit sector on notice that the government is at last prepared to move decisively against the unscrupulous conduct that appears to be all too common in the industry.

St. Petersburg Times


For-profit schools get needed scrutiny

The practices of some of the nation’s largest for-profit colleges are less than upstanding. Some colleges have many more recruiters than professors; admit students without the qualifications to actually earn a degree; and then pay top executives and shareholders millions while students are shackled with outsized debts. A lawsuit joined Monday by the Justice Department and a handful of states, including Florida, will give the public an even clearer picture of this shady side of the for-profit, publicly traded education business. The crackdown is welcome.

Courier Journal


Protecting students

Legal action against allegedly abusive practices by proprietary colleges is taking place in Kentucky and throughout the country. The efforts ought to earn the attention of anyone enrolled in the schools, or thinking about enrolling, as well as taxpayers who supply the huge amounts of federal dollars going into student loans for attending the colleges. Two of the raps on some of the for-profit colleges are higher price tags for degrees than public universities, and a high default rate on student loans.

Courier Journal


Pressure to pay

This is a high-stakes election year in Kentucky, with races for governor and attorney general dominating the ballot. All the campaigns are soliciting donations from anyone who’s willing to give. But several recent stories in The Courier-Journal indicate that the customary fund-raising may be going to extremes Ñ perhaps illegal extremes Ñ as workers complain they are being coerced to support candidates by their employees.

Journal Gazette (Fort Wayne)


Welcome student aid scrutiny

Assuming the government’s accusations are true, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller’s decision to join a whistleblower lawsuit represents a welcome crackdown on a for-profit college accused of tempting recruiters with vacation trips in violation of federal law. Indiana joins California, Florida and Illinois in the U.S. Justice Department suit against Education Management Corp. The company operates The Art Institute of Indianapolis and five Brown Mackie Colleges in Indiana, including a Fort Wayne campus at 3000 Coliseum Blvd. E. Goldman Sachs owns 41 percent of the Pittsburgh-based company.

Louisville Courier-Journal


Ripping off students

Not all proprietary colleges operate as predators; indeed, some are very good schools. But the worst of them feed a sleazy reputation built on exploited hopes, fears and dreams of people wishing to change their lives Ñ with higher price tags than public colleges and universities, to boot.

Orlando Sentinel


Aggressive recruiting and loan defaults at for-profit schools demand more oversight

Reports of high-pressure and deceptive recruiting practices, high tuitions and high loan-default rates at some of these colleges cry out for federal and state authorities to wake up. The students are at risk, and so are taxpayers who back their loans.

Orlando Sentinel


Students at for-profit colleges are taking on debt they can’t handle

For-profit schools often charge much-higher tuitions, which means their students end up deeper in hock. Nationally, more than 90 percent of students at for-profit colleges borrow to bankroll their educations, compared with 13 percent at public colleges. With jobs scarce and wages stagnant, it’s harder than ever for students to repay their loans.

Palm Beach Post


The taxpayers got schooled

An undercover investigation of 15 for-profit colleges by the Government Accountability Office found that four colleges encouraged applicants to falsify financial aid forms to qualify for federal aid, and that all 15 made deceptive or otherwise questionable statements to undercover applicants.

Lexington Herald Leader


Getting money’s worth not partisan

Elected officials who want to guard the public treasury will have to make sure that something of value is being provided for all the tax dollars that flow into the for-profit education industry’s bottom lines. Yet, the partisan divide that has become all too familiar is opening up again.

Orlando Sentinel


College debt bubble

Think of debt among college students like the temperature in a sick patient: The higher it rises, the more reason for alarm. About half the Florida college or university graduates in 2009, the most recent year for which figures are available, left school in debt for loans they took to cover the cost of their higher educations.

Journal Gazette (Fort Wayne)


Student borrowers, beware

What began as a promising crackdown on for-profit schools that leave students saddled with debt and qualified only for low-paying jobs ended in watered-down fashion this month with release of new federal rules. For students, “borrower beware” remains the best advice.

New York Times


Subprime Education

The Obama administration is right to tighten rules for for-profit colleges, which have come under scrutiny for deceptive practices and burying students in unreasonable debt. But the Department of Education is limited in its regulatory authority. It is up to Congress to rein in abuses by toughening the laws that govern this industry.

St. Petersburg Times


New rules let for-profit schools off the hook

The Obama administration caved in to pressure from the for-profit college industry by watering down regulations designed to protect low-income students from exploitation. While some regulation is better than none, the Department of Education missed an opportunity to demand that students and taxpayers get their money’s worth from career schools that peddle expensive vocational and certificate programs as a means to good jobs that too often never materialize.

The Daily Iowan


Harkin-backed regulations of for-profit colleges don’t go far enough

Lately, many have begun to question for-profit colleges. Do they have the best interest of their students in mind? Or are they simply looking for a way to do exactly what’s in their name Ñ profit?

The New York Times


Stopping Fraud at Trade Schools

New York State needs to do a better job of regulating the for-profit trade school industry, which is increasingly known for deceptive practices and saddling students with debt while providing them little in return.

Eugene Register Guard


Rein in for-profit colleges

The Obama administration backed so far away from tough new standards governing for-profit colleges’ eligibility for federal student loan programs that when the rules were announced Thursday, publicly traded colleges’ stocks rose. Yet even a modest effort to ensure that students and taxpayers are getting their money’s worth from for-profit schools is welcome.

The New York Times


Education Is the Last Thing on Their Minds

The for-profit education industry complained of excessive regulation last fall when the Obama administration issued new rules intended to curb abuses at profit-making colleges and trade schools. But lawsuits brought by whistle-blowers with firsthand knowledge of the industry make a strong case for why tough rules are needed.

Des Moines Register


For-profit colleges need additional oversight

Jeff Conlon, chief executive officer of Kaplan Higher Education, visited The Des Moines Register this week to talk about for-profit colleges. These schools, including Kaplan, enroll about 10 percent of college students across the country who receive $24 billion a year in taxpayer-funded grants and aid. And they have been getting a lot of negative attention in Washington, D.C. Like other for-profit schools, Kaplan wants to defend its reputation.This editorial is no longer available online but can be purchased here.

Seattle Times


Congress needs to address career colleges’ toxic choices

FOR-PROFIT colleges have successfully marketed a compelling story in which they star front and center as benevolent purveyors of the American dream through education and gainful employment. The reality is the complete opposite. Former students testified before a U.S. Senate oversight committee this month about exorbitant tuition costs and unfulfilled promises of good jobs. One student spoke of completing a program in video-game design and ending up in the video games section of a Toys R Us.

Dubuque Telegraph Herald


Congress should study tactics of for-profit colleges

Ever see those television commercials for colleges promising a great education that will lead to a big salary? You might have been skeptical of the claims. You might have wondered if schools like the University of Phoenix are even real campuses. U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin shares your concern. The Iowa Democrat is leading an investigation of the practices of for-profit colleges and the money that the federal government funnels to them. Some of the revelations are shocking.

Marine Corps Times


“Congress, Pentagon must keep eye on for-profit schools targeting troops”

Ever see those television commercials for colleges promising a great education that will lead to a big salary? You might have been skeptical of the claims. You might have wondered if schools like the University of Phoenix are even real campuses.

Miami Herald


Better bang for student-aid bucks

With the growth, however, have come a series of troubling questions. The loan default rates for federal student aid are significantly higher in Florida than the proportion of students in higher education. According to the U.S. Department of Education, for-profit schools around the country account for 26 percent of federal student aid, yet their students make up nearly half of all defaults. The median federal student loan debt for students earning associate degrees at for-profit institutions for 2007-08 was $14,000, almost double the median for students at non-profit colleges and universities.

Philadelphia Inquirer


Selling fake dreams

The come-on sounds really nice. But too often it’s just that, an enticement that leaves young people strapped with a college-loan debt and very little chance of obtaining a job in their major.

Providence Journal


For-profit pitfalls

As this sector of the education market has grown, so have questions about the quality of its programs. Last year, an undercover investigation by the Government Accountability Office found widespread abuses. Students were misled about costs and potential earning prospects, and in some cases encouraged to lie on their financial-aid applications. At some schools, recruiters used high-pressure tactics to get them to enroll.

San Francisco Chronicle


For-profit schools must be better regulated

This fast-growing industry – which has jumped from 365,000 students to 1.8 million in several years – presents major problems. A Government Accountability Office report found that the operations were rife with “fraudulent practices” such as false promises and heavy-handed recruiting. The Department of Education is pushing “gainful employment” rules to eliminate the worst of the abuses that leave students with low-paying jobs and heavy debt.

San Jose Mercury News


For-profit college rules must be implemented

Though leaders in the House of Representatives insist their No. 1 priority is cutting government spending, it’s clear they have other goals. Among them is protecting the for-profit college industry, even though some of its practices waste untold millions in tax dollars and hurt poor and minority students.This editorial is no longer available online but can be purchasedhere.

Des Moines Register


For-profit colleges need federal oversight

Sen. Tom Harkin isn’t going to let fellow lawmakers forget about the problems at for-profit colleges – and the implications for taxpayers and students. In a recent floor speech, he referred to investigations, including his own, into some schools. In addition to findings of deceptive marketing practices and high default rates on student loans, he emphasized the “emotionally abusive tactics” used to encourage students to enroll. His speech should be a wake-up call for his colleagues. This editorial is no longer available online but can be purchased here.

Kansas City Star


Colleges must ratchet down their ever-rising costs

This editorial discusses student debt and proposed gainful employment rule; cites recent report by the Education Trust. This editorial is no longer available online but can be purchased here.

St. Petersburg Times


For-profit colleges need closer scrutiny

When a quarter of an industry depends on public money for 80 percent or more of its income, government oversight should be expected. That’s not been the case with for-profit colleges, where unscrupulous salesmen at some institutions oversell the curriculum and make inflated promises of jobs to convince students to sign up for expensive tuition and thousands of dollars in federal financial aid they have little hope of paying back.

Louisville Courier-Journal


Editorial: For-Profit Colleges

This editorial describes recent moves by state attorney general and legislature regarding for-profit colleges. It further states that “at the heart of all the investigations is whether students and the public are being fleeced. There should be no delay in determining the truth Ñ and then no hesitation in providing stronger laws and regulations.” This editorial is no longer available online but can be purchased here.

Tacoma News Tribune


Get moving on rules governing for-profit colleges

On another issue involving for-profit colleges Ñ the so-called “gainful employment” rule Ñ the department is facing such furious industry push-back that reform could be in jeopardy.

Lexington Herald-Leader


For-profit colleges deserve scrutiny

In a state where the need for education far outstrips the resources to pay for it, Attorney General Jack Conway’s investigation of for-profit colleges and schools is a welcome development. Graduates of for-profit colleges are at least twice as likely to default on federal student loans as graduates of other institutions. And for-profit colleges live on federal financial aid; their share increased from $4.6 billion in 2000 to $26.5 billion last year.

Vacaville Reporter


Regulate for-profit colleges

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Long Beach Press-Telegram


Tightening up for-profit colleges

The U.S. Department of Education has made significant strides lately in reforming higher education. It overhauled the student loan system to save taxpayers billions while expanding aid. It created regulations governing for-profit colleges, requiring more disclosure about how students fare after graduation and protecting students from misleading and aggressive marketing.

Whittier Daily News


Another view: Approve rules on for-profit colleges

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Daily Breeze (Torrance, CA)


For-profit college rules needed

The U.S. Department of Education has made significant strides lately in reforming higher education. But on another issue involving for-profit colleges – the so-called “gainful employment” rule – the department is facing such furious industry pushback that reform could be in jeopardy. Congressional representatives who are heavily involved in education must lend support to this important consumer protection.

Toledo Blade


Schools of Profit

It has been a tough semester for the nation’s for-profit colleges and universities. These are the schools of higher education Ñ such as the University of Phoenix, Kaplan University, DeVry, and others Ñ that call themselves “career colleges” and cater to low-income students while offering flexibility to those who work while going to class.

San Jose Mercury News


Federal rules governing for-profit colleges should proceed

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Pittsburg Post-Gazette


Schools of Profit: Students deserve better at career colleges

Many of the schools’ practices have come under scrutiny by the Senate education committee, and for good reason. After seeking data from 30 for-profit colleges, Sen. Tom Harkin, the Iowa Democrat who chairs the panel, issued a troubling report in September that showed many students leave the schools with huge debts, no diplomas and little chance for the kind of jobs they were seeking.

New York Times


Preying on veterans

The for-profit education industry has been pushing back hard against new Education Department rules that will make it easier to rein in predatory schools that strip students of financial aid, saddle them with crushing debt and give them nothing in return. But the evidence is mounting that the new rules might not be enough to prevent some of the worst abuses.

New York Times


Rules for Gainful Employment

The Obama administration has already adopted several new rules that will give the Department of Education more authority to rein in corrupt practices by for-profit universities. But the most crucial rule, the “gainful employment” provision, is still awaiting approval, and the industry is pushing back hard.

West Virginia Gazette-Mail


For-profit colleges’ outrages

Former WVU President Gordon Gee, now at Ohio State, was paid $1.5 million last year. He’s the only leader of a state-owned university earning more than $1 million. However, Robert Silberman, CEO of for-profit, on-line Strayer University, got $41.9 million in 2009, Bloomberg News says. For-profit schools exist almost entirely on federal student loans, which can leave unlucky students saddled with huge debts — upon which many default. Silberman is living quite well on the system.

Journal Star (Lincoln, NE)


For-profit schools need oversight

For-profit schools are grabbing a growing share of higher education in the United States. About 11 percent of students in higher education are enrolled in for-profit schools. Some of the schools have engaged in unsavory practices in other parts of the country. Undercover investigators posing as college applicants encountered deceptive practices or fraud at each of the 15 campuses they visited, the Government Accountability Office reported earlier this year.

Florida Times-Union


Student loans: More oversight needed

The federal government has the right and responsibility to see that student loans are being used efficiently. In short, the government should take action to prevent what has been called “the next bubble,” massive defaults of student loans.

Star-Ledger (NJ)


For-profit schools have promises to keep

The ads are ubiquitous on late night TV, billboards and the internet for schools that promise good-paying jobs in medical billing or massage therapy after training in less time than it takes to obtain a college degree, and with classes that fit your schedule, on campus or on-line Ñ for a price, or course.

New York Times


Let the students profit

The Obama administration has proposed tough and much-needed regulations for lucrative for-profit colleges. Industry is predictably pushing back hard, with legions of high-priced lobbyists and organized letter-writing campaigns. The administration must hold its ground.

Los Angeles Times


New restrictions on for-profit colleges don’t seem strict enough

It’s not surprising that enrollment at for-profit colleges nearly tripled from 2000 to 2008, and is believed to have grown substantially since then. As U.S. companies have cut their payrolls and a degree or certificate has become a prerequisite for more kinds of work, people looked to these schools as an avenue to careers as truckers, dental hygienists and other jobs that can’t be outsourced to China or India.

USA Today


“Our view on student loans: High costs, loan defaults expose for-profit colleges”

When for-profit universities started popping up in the 1990s, they seemed like such a good idea. They would attract money needed to meet surging demand for higher education. They would be innovative and nimble. And perhaps they would even force change at America’s non-profit colleges and universities, where costs have soared.

New York Times


Who profits? Who learns?

Enrollment at for-profit colleges and trade schools has tripled in the last decade to about 1.8 million, or nearly 10 percent of the nation’s higher education students. These schools, partly because they serve poorer students who need more support, receive almost a quarter of the federal aid. This year, federal financing for financial aid is expected to total $145 billion

Denver Post


Tighten rules on for-profit schools

The private, for-profit college model serves a purpose in Colorado, but some guardrails need to be enacted to protect taxpayers, and students, from abuses and scams. Stories last Sunday and Monday by Denver Post reporters Allison Sherry and Greg Griffin explored the big debt burden borne by students from these schools, and the high rate at which they default on federal student loans. These are the schools that typically advertise on daytime television about the fabulous career you can have in an interesting field, such as the world of fashion design.

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