Government Should Not Hold For-Profit Colleges To A Higher Standard

Career College Central Summary:

  • “BY 2020, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.” So President Obama told Congress in his 2009 State of the Union address, when he called on every American to commit to at least one year or more of higher education or career training. Those are laudable aspirations.
  • But it is hard to see how the country can fulfill them, given the administration’s animus toward the for-profit colleges that provide the only realistic educational opportunity for millions of underserved Americans.
  • The for-profit higher education sector is already reeling from the administration’s aggressive treatment of California-based Corinthian Colleges. Now it is girding itself — “cautiously pessimistic,” said one industry spokesman — for final language on federal regulations that would establish stringent standards for programs that prepare students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation.
  • The Education Department has issued no timetable for the release of the rules, which are said to still be in the works.
  • The department’s earlier proposals — cutting off financial aid to career-oriented programs whose graduates have high student-loan debt relative to their incomes — would, industry officials say, effectively force thousands of programs to close while causing others to limit admissions to students who pose no risk.
  • Why not come up with standards that make sense and apply them to all schools that accept federal student loan aid?
  • If there are problems with how schools prepare their students or use public-supported dollars, devise a mechanism that zeroes in on the wrongdoers without jeopardizing programs that responsibly fulfill their obligations.

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WASHINGTON POST

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