Career College Students’ Ambivalence?

Career College Central summary:

  • A new survey from Public Agenda has found that career college students are satisfied with their experience, and report effective guidance from counselors, caring instructors and small class sizes. Thirty-seven percent of the survey participants said their degree was “well worth it;” but the rest said it “remains to be seen.” Nearly a third of the alumni said their degree just “wasn’t worth it.”
  • Officials at career colleges question the survey’s legitimacy, noting that it is based on the views of just 197 students and 249 alumni. “I think we are still a long way off from data that would help us draw better conclusions,” said Noah Black, a spokesman for the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities.
  • Current students and alumni alike had generally positive things to say about their experience at for-profit colleges, the study found. Overwhelming majorities of current students praised the guidance they received (91 percent) and small class sizes (85 percent) and were optimistic that their credentials would help them find good jobs. About two-thirds, though, said they consider the colleges to be “expensive” and 47 percent said they worry “a lot” about taking on too much debt.
  • Alumni gave comparably high marks on their experiences while in school, but the fact that just 37 percent said their degree was worth the price troubled researchers. Public Agenda said a companion study of community college students found that about a third of them worried about taking on too much debt. But the study did not ask community college graduates a parallel question about whether their education was worth it.            

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