For-Profit “Education” Industry Blasted for “cashing in on veterans”

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    Tough stuff in today’s papers on the for-profit “education” industry. A few items:

    1. The Washington Kaplan Post  prints (surprisingly!) an AP story entitled, “Report: For-profit colleges cashing in on veterans.”

    For-profit college companies take in enormous amounts of federal student aid money by recruiting and enrolling military service members, veterans and their families, with questionable returns, says a new report from a vocal Senate critic of the industry.

    The report from Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa shows how successful for-profit colleges have been in enrolling military personnel and veterans in an era of expanded government benefits…

    2. Bloomberg has its own report, “For-Profit Colleges Scam Military for $521 Million, Report Says.” Here’s something Jim Webb must not be pleased about – his superb GI Bill being misused and exploited by this industry for their own profit.

    The Post-9/11 GI Bill Congress passed in 2008 raised educational benefits for almost all military veterans, and in some cases allowed them to pass money for school to their spouses and children, according to the report. The colleges made it a priority to recruit military members to take advantage of the surge in benefits, the authors said.

    “Congress may have unintentionally subjected this new generation of veterans to the worst excesses of the for-profit industry: manipulative and misleading marketing campaigns, educational programs far more expensive than comparable public or non-profit programs, and a lack of needed services,” according to the report.

    3. An article by Higher Ed Watch which quotes our old pal Harris Miller, head of the for-profit “education” industry’s lead lobby group, as “refus[ing] to take any responsibility for their former students’ repayment problems” and “insist[ing] that the only factors that matter when it comes to their institutions’ high default rates and low student loan repayment rates (the proportion of borrowers who have paid down any principal on their federal loans in the last four years) are the characteristics of their students.” According to Harris Miller, “‘The only thing that explains [a school’s] default rate is the socioeconomic background’ of the students it serves.”

    And if you believe that, I’ve got a great 4-year, for-profit education to sell you, with a great job guaranteed (no really!) in the unlikely event that you graduate!

    • This very issue is one of the reasons I have concerns about the current DREAM act.  I really want there to be away for those students to gain citizenship through military service or academic excellence (that to me is a win win for EVERYONE) but because of “industries” like this one, I see more scam, more debt, and less result as much more likely than a robust, disciplined and educated first generation of immigrants.

    • libra

      a custom-made issue for Sen Webb to take up, given that it’s veterans who are getting rooked.

      And somewhat on a tangent… Does anyone know whether there’s something in the legislative (federal level) pipeline going on, currently, vis-a-vis the for-profits? For a while, a few months ago, the for-profits were thumping their chests in full page ads in NYTimes, daily. Then, they dropped off the Earth’s edge, and I figured that whatever bill they were trying to prevent from passing had been voted on. But, yesterday, a smarmy “we’re ever so great” ad, with a photo of a “real American” (a blonde with somewhat vacuous eyes), made a comeback… So, what gives?