30 April 2013

The State of For-Profit Colleges

For-profit colleges have been booming for the past several years. Many offer flexible online programs and opportunities for students who might not be able to gain admissions to non-profit and state schools. But is a for-profit college the best choice for students seeking higher education and career advancement? Recent developments suggest that the answer is no.

Struggling for Enrollment

Far from the earlier boom years, for-profit colleges are now struggling to maintain student enrollment amid allegations that they offer an inferior education and overcharge students. Many for-profit colleges are closing branches throughout the country. Even the manner in which these colleges are closing is contentious. In Connecticut, for example, several schools were closed at the end of 2012
after losing their accreditation. Regaining accreditation would have been a two-year process, and the students would not have been eligible for financial aid until the schools were re-accredited. However, the schools were still obligated to follow Connecticut law which included making provisions two months ahead of time so that students could make other plans. This was not done.

Burdened Students

Another way in which the tide has turned regarding for-profit colleges relates to the financial situation of students. Many either drop out, unable to complete courses, or graduate with staggering student loans and cannot find work. In July of 2012 a federal judge dismissed parts of a new set of regulations from the Obama administration that attempted to ensure that students of for-profit colleges did not end up in such dire straits. Nevertheless, portions of the regulation remained, and the judge acknowledged that there were problems with the schools that needed attention.

Projected Decline

Bloomberg News did a series of investigative reports several years ago on for-profit colleges and alleged that many such schools employed predatory practices against vulnerable populations including homeless people and veterans. Meanwhile, the corporations that own the colleges including Goldman Sachs and the Washington Post Co. are raking in billions. Currently, the stock value of for-profit colleges is in decline.

Changing Landscape

Just a few short years ago, traditional schools could not compete with the online offerings of for-profit colleges, but this is a landscape that is changing rapidly and brick-and-mortar colleges and universities are increasingly offering substantive online tracks. Some traditional colleges have even begun offering some free online courses for credit. All of this spells trouble for for-profit colleges that offered online flexibility as their biggest advantage over traditional schools.

Another issue and one reason students often have trouble securing jobs after graduation is that many for-profit schools simply have poor educational reputations. That isn't to say that there might not be talented and caring instructors at for-profit institutions or that no student will get a good education at one. But by and large, the perception of the colleges in both the business and the academic world is that they offer an inferior education.

Concluding Remarks

It is not impossible that a student could obtain both a good education and desired employment following graduation from a for-profit college. However, given the increase in online classes from community colleges, four-year institutions and universities and the increasingly uncertain future of for-profit schools, students would do well to investigate any for-profit schools they are considering carefully including whether the school has come under state or federal investigation, its accreditation status and the fate of its graduates. Students need to do independent research rather than relying on what the school tells them. In the end, though, the best choice is probably a traditional school whether the student takes classes online or in person.

Reginald Sallinsky is a freelance blogger and writer who focuses on education, professional development and training, the employment market and other kindred concerns. Online colleges, such as those online nursing schools and www.phlebotomytraining-classes.com, are likewise a subject of great contention in society, and a topic likely to be explored by Reginald in the future.


Raymond Casey said...

Yes, financial situation of students is really important and I happy to see such improvements. It reminds me how I was needed to work at term paper for psychology class because of money. Good that this time has passed

MSM said...

My answer is also No, When College look towards the Profit then Education left behind. The main aim of the administration of College is to gain maximum Profit. They don't have concern the future of students. They try to minimize the expenses and compromise with the education. You have mentioned some tips which may need to adopted by such colleges like legitimate-writing-services.blogspot.com/2016/03/essaytigers-com-review.html have and some more tips. Infects, students make sure the value of college before taking admission. Such colleges not have extra ordinary results.

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charlieo22 said...

Actually, even if you tried to describe that's not good, but I still "for" all these for-profit colleges and I think that's still a good opportunity for students seeking higher education, if they couldn't enter to the another kind of the university, but they still want to study, so why not? Now I even want to support them, going to book of ra play to get money and get the degree in one of this colleges.