The President of the American Federation for Teachers counters the for-profit “college” industry’s lies about proposed new Department of Education regulations. A few key points:
*The proposed new “gainful employment” regulations “are designed to target the worst actors in career-education programs,” not the good guys in this extremely lucrative industry (if there are any)
*It is important to emphasize that growth of the for-profit “college” industry “has been funded almost exclusively by federal financial aid – which students need for high tuitions”
*Speaking of high tuitions, it turns out that the “average annual tuition at a for-profit college was about $14,000 in 2009,” compared to $2,500 for a community college and $7,000 for in-state students at public colleges.
*That much higher pricetag is a large part of why the for-profit “colleges now take in 25 percent of all Pell Grant money and 25 percent of all federal student loan funds – despite enrolling only 10 percent of the students.”
*Another huge problem with these “colleges” is that students “often…don’t get what they were promised,” ending up with “crushing debt,” a far higher default rate, and degrees of questionable (at best) worth
*Finally, and perhaps most egregious, these “colleges engage in predatory practices and make false claims – often to our most vulnerable students, including poor and minority students, or veterans.”
To me, reining in this industry should be something that all Democrats – and certainly anyone who claims to be a progressive – should strongly support. As for those people, like chief industry lobbyist Harris Miller (pictured above), who claim to be Democrats while flacking for this industry, their motivations are clear and unambiguous: money, and lots of it, even if they have to sell out everything they ostensibly believe in to get it!