Hearing on Student Debt Drowns Perspective in Hyperbole

The Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities (APSCU) today took issue with assertions made at a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee hearing. As the hearings have on several occasions in the past, the role of private sector colleges and universities (PSCUs) was distorted by facts and data presented out of context.

In challenging the quality of PSCUs and comparing them to subprime mortgages, the presentation attacked these institutions with no regard for the real situation confronting non-traditional students today–namely a bad economy, difficult job prospects, and limited access to higher education.

"I would challenge those critical of PSCU education to actually experience PSCU education," said APSCU President Harris Miller. "I would be happy to have any member of Congress visit our schools, sit in our classrooms, talk to our students, and get a true understanding of the caliber of our education and the value it constitutes in the lives of real people."

The extent of borrowing at PSCUs, for instance, was called into question in today’s hearing, without the important companion data that show career colleges educate a disproportionate percent of economically disadvantaged students. PSCUs cost the student more than community colleges because they are private rather than publicly subsidized education, and their results are far superior.

“Is this a difference worth paying for?” Miller asked. “Perhaps some of the Committee members think not, but at least let’s have the conversation where the issues are properly framed.”

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APSCU

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