Not to pat ourselves on the backs too much, but we would note that we’ve been pointing out for a couple years now that the for-profit “education” industry is a scam and a sham. Now, a major new report by Senate Democrats confirms everything we’ve been saying, with the possible exception of DPVA Chair Brian Moran’s role in this fiasco. A few highlights, or should I say lowlights, from the study include:
*This industry is sucking $32 billion per year in our tax money to operate their “colleges” (using the word loosely), yet “more than half of the students who enrolled in in those colleges in 2008-9 left without a degree or diploma within a median of 4 months.”
*These for-profit “colleges” are “owned and operated by businesses” (heavily subsidized by the government, of course – no, they did NOT “build that” on their own, not even close!) with the prime concern not being the education of students, but of “the returns they produce for shareholders.”
*Basically, Congress has let these “colleges” get away with murder, failing to hold these “companies accountable to taxpayers for providing quality education, support, and outcomes.”
*Among the most egregious practices of these “colleges” is that they “left [students] with high monthly payments but without a commensurate increase in earning power from new training and skills,” resulting in “student loan debt that may follow them throughout their lives, and can create a financial burden that is extremely difficult, and sometimes impossible, to escape.”
*How do these schools convince so many people to plunk down their hard-earned money on the product they’re selling? Simple: the companies spend billions of dollars on marketing and recruiting, not to mention “more than two and a half recruiters for each support services employees.”
*One of the main targets of these “schools” is, perhaps most egregiously, is the brave people who’ve risked their lives to defend our country — “[s]ervicemembers, veterans, spouses, and family members,” with the for-profits even “recruiting at wounded warrior centers and veterans hospitals,” and with recruiters sometimes being found to have “misled or lied to service members as to whether their tuition would be fully covered by military benefits.” No, they have no shame.
On and on it goes, in all its gory, abysmal, anger-inducing detail. The Virginia angle on this is even more anger-inducing: that two prominent Virginia Democrats, 2006 Senate candidate Harris Miller and DPVA Chair Brian Moran, have served in top capacities at the for-profit “colleges” top lobby shop, while simultaneously – and hypocritically – claiming to support strong public education in this country.
I mean, look, you expect Republicans – Eric Can’tor and company – to do crap like this. But for Democrats to do it is incredibly disappointing, makes me extremely angry to be honest. True, Brian Moran is leaving the for-profit “college” lobby at the end of July, but the damage is already done, both to all the people he helped rip off, as well as to the image of the Democratic Party of Virginia. The question is, why have more Virginia Democrats not been outraged by and spoken out about this situation? As the saying goes, “evil flourishes when good people do nothing.” This, sadly, is a classic example of what that’s talking about. Ugh.
P.S. I must say, I’m disappointed to see Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley scheduled to appear at a fundraising reception with Brian Moran on August 2 in Alexandria. From what I’ve seen, I like Gov. O’Malley, but let’s just say, this is the type of thing I’ll be weighing in my mind when deciding which Democrat to support for the presidential nomination in 2016…