The Ugliness of For-Profits (Commentary from Chronicle of Higher Ed)

I admit it. I have a chip on my shoulder when it comes to for-profit providers of higher education. Until now, I wasn’t entirely sure why. After all, I generally like competition and think that more options for students is a good thing.

But I grew nauseous reading this Reuters article, which examines the possibility that President Obama’s American Graduation Initiative might hurt the for-profit higher education sector. Folks who are genuinely concerned with this must be relieved that the article concludes that no major threat is present. Specifically, while “analysts said the program for community colleges could make them more competitive against firms such as Apollo Group Inc, Corinthian Colleges, ITT Educational Services Inc and Lincoln Educational Services Corp….the amount of money earmarked for the program would result in only a marginal increment in budgets for community colleges and have a small impact on these companies in the short term.”

Oh, well thank goodness. Because we wouldn’t want the President’s efforts to increase degree completion rates in this country to hurt your bottom line—god forbid. Lest we forget for one moment that America is in the business of education, an analyst from Wedbush Morgan Securities states ““We would be more cautious on the market-funded sector had President Obama added another zero to the proposed $12 billion targeted for community colleges.”

My goodness, yes—good thing the feds didn’t give TOO much money to the colleges serving the widest swath of Americans. Then you for-profits might really have to compete on a level playing field. By Sara Goldrick-Rab (The Chronicle of Higher Education)

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