For-Profit Colleges Case

Decent Essays
I am sympathetic to the instinct to ignore the question of whether a college is accountable to owners (for-profit), or, alternatively, is answerable to a financially disinterested board (nonprofit or public). While there is a higher incidence of problematic behavior at for-profit colleges, there are also nonprofit and public institutions that don’t do right by students and the public interest.

At the very beginning of the Education Department’s regulatory efforts in 2009, we bent over backwards to focus on the problems rather than the sector, stressing the need to strengthen consumer protection for students at all types of institutions. Other than the lines already drawn by Congress, there are no sector distinctions in the regulations we proposed
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Rather than working cooperatively with the new administration, the major for-profit chains went on the attack, alleging that they were victims of regulations unfairly aimed specifically at them. I do not know why they took this tack, but the result was to focus media and public attention on the for-profit sector specifically. (In other words it was them, not us, who turned this into a referendum on the value of for-profit colleges). The strategy might have been a good one if the industry was clean. But prompted by the for-profits’ public relations efforts and the counter from consumer protection groups, many media outlets, bloggers, and researchers took a serious look at the sector and were disturbed by what they found: serious…show more content…
Financial aid expert Mark Kantrowitz told me something similar a couple of years ago: “The problem with for-profit colleges is that when the company sacrifices long-term success for short-term gains, they are also sacrificing students... So the key question is how to restructure the entire industry so that long-term success is never sacrificed for short-term gains.” He added that the gainful employment regulation “is a step in that direction, but it’s not a complete
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