For-Profit Colleges Volley Back at Nonprofit Rivals’ Jab

Oops, now we started something.

In a post last week, I publicized a more political than usual installment of the "Graph of the Week" from the Association of Independent Colleges & Universities of Ohio, a trade group for private nonprofit institutions, which highlighted a finding from a survey of college business officers to argue that their for-profit competitors were more worried about loss of federal grant aid to students than about affordability for those students. That was because all respondents from for-profit schools listed federal aid as a "top two" financial concern.

But David Rankin, executive director of the Ohio Association of Career Colleges and Schools, sent an e-mail to Columbus Business First pointing out a glaring problem with the survey that undercuts the competing group’s jab. In the tiny appendices of the report, it says of the 606 responses, only nine were from for-profit schools. So a response rate of 33 percent in the chart meant about 200 nonprofit schools, against just three for-profits. Not what you’d call statistically significant.

Rankin also said in his email that career schools serve more working adults and included a shot of his own: “For-profit colleges pay taxes that help support tuition grants and subsidize research at independent and public colleges and universities.”

Do we have to separate these two?


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