Friday, July 16, 2010

For-profit colleges and the threat of a new bubble

Please read Sen. Tom Harkin's essay in the LA times on the growing concerns over for-profit college loan defaults.

Some thoughts on this issue from BANDIT member Sean Dougherty (who sent me the above link):
"There is some concern that the for-profit "schools" practice of acquiring loans for students with little hope of recovering from the debt will lead to a credit crisis akin to the subprime loan crisis. On a more personal level, since I teach at a technical college that serves urban, non-traditional students, I have seen several casualties of the for-profit system. They make their way through the for-profit program only to discover one or all of the following: their degree is unaccredited and worthless; their credits won't transfer to any accredited school; the classes did not prepare them; the per class cost was actually more than the state university that they thought was "too expensive"; they've acquired enough debt to prohibit or limit further student loans for another school. And, unfortunately, these students who are single mothers at the poverty level have very few options for getting out of debt, or affording educational alternatives. So, the hope for socio-economic mobility that they had invested in their for-profit education just becomes another contributing factor of their downward spiral.

I just wish people would realize that if the school is in a strip mall, it's probably not a school."

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