… as I do here, there are educational institutions in America that do have pretty universally bad reputations, and these are the for-profits. When a legitimate secondary school or university proposes cooperating with a for-profit, its faculty and students (as in this latest case) often scream NO. Why?

[F]or-profit colleges received $32 billion from the US government in student aid in the 2009-10 academic year. They also charge far higher tuition fees than comparable state universities. Yet they spend much less per student on instruction. Indeed, they typically spend a lot more on marketing their courses than they do on teaching them. This may explain why the majority of students on their degree programmes drop out long before they graduate. In 2008-09 the median length of study for a student at a for-profit university was just four months. The inference is that for-profit universities recruit anyone who is eligible for Federal funds but care little about what happens to them afterwards.

The cynicism and nothingness of the for-profits is now a matter of public knowledge. No one who actually takes education seriously wants to be cheapened by association with these money-grubbers.

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3 Responses to “But speaking of reputations…”

  1. adam Says:

    Of course, the for-profit university industry has been helped by eminent and highly paid academic advisors, just as the pharmaceutical industry is helped by prominent and highly paid academic key opinion leaders. The past chairman of the board of directors of DeVry U comes to mind. That would be Harold T. Shapiro, a former president of Princeton and of U Michigan before that. Here is an interview he gave to InsideHigherEd in 2009. Read it and reflect. http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/01/07/devry

  2. Jack/OH Says:

    My sister taught at a proprietary college. Students were mostly folks on welfare, ex-convicts recently released, other referrals from government programs. Facilities and equipment were modest. Pay was appalling–$20 per class hour taught (in the late 1990s) was on the high side. (That’s no misprint.) I met her colleagues. Their hearts were in the right place, and they enjoyed teaching. None could afford to teach without their secondary incomes from side businesses, professions, pensions, etc.

    My sister never knew the nominal tuition, which was nowhere made public.

  3. ConservativeEnglishPhD Says:

    No need to create alliances. The “non-profit” universities are now emulating the for-profit ones. My institution is ramping up the online offerings, often riding right over the objections of the departments (for example, the English department was told they were taking too long creating the guidelines for an online degree, so the University told them that the University would create a degree program without the department if necessary).

    When a friend called the University, asking for some advising on degree programs to take, they rather aggressively pushed her toward taking online programs, which she didn’t want to do.

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