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ilovepaydays
07-28-2010, 05:46 PM
Huffington Post - Pell Grants And For-Profit Colleges: Where The Money Goes (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/28/pell-grants-and-for-profi_n_661826.html)

:eek: at how much the University of Phoenix is getting. They are like a defense contractor!

These amounts don't count what the students are taking out in federal student loans to go to these schools. Who knows how much is that is!

On PBS, Frontline did an episode this year on for-profit colleges and I heard many people say it is very good and :wideeyes:. I have it saved on my Netflix.

There are a lot of Strayer U campuses around my area and I have worked with people who are getting degrees there. Nice folks, but I get the feeling that they are going to a diploma mill. Plus the tuition is so much than what people here pay to go to state universities like William & Mary and Old Dominion and I am not sure what they are getting for the extra costs. I also noticed that because Strayer makes them purchase their "specialty" textbooks - and they are a lot more then what I pay for my books for ODU. Not that college textbooks are inexpensive, anyway.

Thoughts?

michiruwater
07-28-2010, 05:50 PM
I saw a University of Phoenix (store? admissions office?) at a mall. I just stared and then felt really sad that I didn't have a camera. It was between a Victoria's Secret and a Bath and Body Works.

GarrAarghHrumph
07-28-2010, 07:10 PM
U of P gets so much in Pell Grants, in part, because they are one of the largest universities in the US. They have a LOT of students. But it's also because of the particular type of student that these sorts of colleges tend to attract.

The reason why these for-profit colleges get so many students with Pell Grants is because these for-profit colleges attract a higher percentage of students who are coming from neighborhoods/families where they are the first person to go to college; where they are low-income, and thus qualify for Pell Grants; where perhaps they don't know any better than to go to a heavily advertised, well marketed school - and that tends to be the for-profits.

As for what's attractive about a Strayer or a U of P - first, the majority of students are adults, not typical college age students. A lot of adults, considering college, are afraid that they'll feel out of place at a traditional college. I do a lot of explaining that - especially in evening programs, and especially at community colleges - the majority of students are older, so they won't feel out of place. But most adult students don't know that, so many are attracted to these more adult-oriented universities.

Second, a lot of these for-profit schools offer classes on an accelerated schedule. You complete one class every 5-9 weeks, rather than the 13-16 required by a traditional college, so you get your degree faster. That's attractive to adult students.

Third, these colleges make a real effort to work with you and get you enrolled. While at a traditional uni, you have to work to get in - and at many, you may not get in - at a Strayer, they will try hard to get you enrolled. They make it very personal, and very easy to get started.

Fourth, a lot of these for-profit schools offer extensive online programs, and these are attractive to busy working adults. Some of my students in my online classes only have time to do their classwork at 11pm, after the kids and the husband are in bed; or they travel for work, so they can't commit to a set class time. A regular, on campus program won't work for folks like this. While a lot of traditional universities offer online degrees, they aren't as heavily advertised as those at the for-profits; they can be harder to find out about. You google something like "online degree", and all you get, first three pages of results, are the for-profit schools.

And finally, the marketing is good, and targeted toward these groups - and these colleges can afford to market in ways that traditional colleges cannot.

As for the textbooks - even at traditional universities, a lot of the texts now are customized to the needs of that university. They create special, for example, U of Phoenix editions of the books. Custom texts tend to be more expensive than regular texts. But again, this isn't something special to U of P or Strayer or etc. - regular unis use custom texts as well.

agalisgv
07-28-2010, 07:51 PM
On the topic of for-profit colleges:
The Education Department proposed much-anticipated regulations Friday that would cut off federal aid to for-profit college programs if too many of their students default on loans or don't earn enough after graduation to repay them.http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/23/federal-colleges-funding-jobs-loans_n_657821.html

overedge
07-28-2010, 08:23 PM
The Education Department proposed much-anticipated regulations Friday that would cut off federal aid to for-profit college programs if too many of their students default on loans or don't earn enough after graduation to repay them.

And about time too.

GarrAarghHrumph
07-28-2010, 09:13 PM
And about time too.

I expect it's going to make a huge difference. I just feel so bad for some of the people who go to such schools. The loans, IMO, are way too much v. the benefits of such a degree. I'm especially interested in how this will impact culinary schools, which are notorious for having an extremely high cost/high loans v. the actual salaries that most people make out of culinary school - and thus having an extremely high loan default rate.

Prancer
07-28-2010, 09:46 PM
I saw a University of Phoenix (store? admissions office?) at a mall. I just stared and then felt really sad that I didn't have a camera. It was between a Victoria's Secret and a Bath and Body Works.

I used to use a textbook that contained a lot of essays about malls as cultural icons, and that was something that was predicted in more than one of the essays--that colleges would start offering classes in malls.

A lot of tech schools have offices and classrooms in strip malls, so it's not much of a stretch to see them moving into malls themselves (although the expense would be a consideration). I can see community colleges doing it as well, as most CCs offer off campus classes in places like community centers (although again, expense would be a big factor).

There is a lot of talk in the academic community about the future of traditional brick and mortar campuses, and many believe only a handful of campuses (primarily the venerable and distinguished) will be around in a few decades. The trend in higher education appears to be going to flexibility in all things--scheduling, formats, delivery platforms, etc. That does not bode well for traditional classrooms.

So yeah, you just may see more campus offices in malls in the future. Or not. Who knows? A lot of people still prefer to learn in traditional environments.

One of the grammar schools in my district just hired a new principal who earned all her degrees through UoP. This is not her first job, either; she previously worked in much bigger districts in Arizona and California. Getting a UoP degree is not always a waste; it depends on your field. But you have to be very well informed about your career path requirements before you start down that road.

overedge
07-28-2010, 10:04 PM
I expect it's going to make a huge difference. I just feel so bad for some of the people who go to such schools. The loans, IMO, are way too much v. the benefits of such a degree. I'm especially interested in how this will impact culinary schools, which are notorious for having an extremely high cost/high loans v. the actual salaries that most people make out of culinary school - and thus having an extremely high loan default rate.

I have mixed feelings. Those colleges are very good at pushing the marketing buttons of a vulnerable population, which IMHO is reason enough to crack down on them. That's about 95% of my feelings. The other 5% is that students who are going to lay out that sort of $$$ should maybe do more extensive research before enrolling. Having said that, though, I do recognize (and sympathize) that there are lots of barriers and attitudes making that difficult or impossible.

GarrAarghHrumph
07-29-2010, 01:53 AM
I have mixed feelings. Those colleges are very good at pushing the marketing buttons of a vulnerable population, which IMHO is reason enough to crack down on them. That's about 95% of my feelings. The other 5% is that students who are going to lay out that sort of $$$ should maybe do more extensive research before enrolling. Having said that, though, I do recognize (and sympathize) that there are lots of barriers and attitudes making that difficult or impossible.

The thing for me is that most of those students, in my experience, don't even know enough to know they need to ask the questions. They don't even know that it could be an issue. They don't realize that there's a difference between a U of P (or Strayer, Walden, Kaplan, Devry, ITT...) degree and one from their local state college. If anything, they think that because U of P is private, it must be better.

bardtoob
07-29-2010, 06:08 AM
There are a handful of for-profit colleges that existed BEFORE THE INTERNET that did make it possible for working adults to get a bachelors degree in the after-hours of a normal work day that did a lot of good since Jr and Community Colleges could not fill this need, and they were for-profit because they could be since they were offering a premium product of accredited AFTER-HOURS UPPER DIVISION CLASSROOM COURSEWORK. To me, these somewhat older institutions are entirely different than Multiple Choice Online BA Degree Mills.

I also do think that Technical Institutes are an entirely different thing, but do meet a real need for technical (vocational) training that does not fit into an academically accredited institution but also is in a technical field that is not supported by a trade union, such as the high tech industry. The only other places to get training for high tech jobs is college engineering schools and the military, and the demand in the civilian labor market for technical training only employees could not be filled by the military because of the exponential growth of high tech and the shrinking of the military.

GarrAarghHrumph
07-29-2010, 02:24 PM
There are proprietary schools that are completely reputable and respected by employers and other schools. Examples include Digipen, School of Visual Arts, and SCAD. Digipen and SVA are actually elite level schools in their fields, and they are also for-profit institutions. That's why I hate to paint all for-profits with one brush. Just because a school is proprietary, that doesn't mean it's disreputable.


There are a handful of for-profit colleges that existed BEFORE THE INTERNET that did make it possible for working adults to get a bachelors degree in the after-hours of a normal work day that did a lot of good since Jr and Community Colleges could not fill this need, and they were for-profit because they could be since they were offering a premium product of accredited AFTER-HOURS UPPER DIVISION CLASSROOM COURSEWORK. To me, these somewhat older institutions are entirely different than Multiple Choice Online BA Degree Mills.


You indicate that the institutions formed before the age of the Internet are better or different than some of the schools we've been discussing here, and perhaps that's true for some, but most of the schools that are famous today as what I might call "worrysome" proprietary institutions began back in those days. Strayer, for example, began in 1892.

The older schools get bought by companies like Education Management Corp, expanded, changed - and not usually in good ways. So I think one should have caution with the older schools as well. They aren't necessarily the same as they were, back in the day.

They had a valuable purpose, originally, as you said - they provided an education for adults when other colleges did not serve that market; and they often provided career-focused education when other colleges did not. That's valuable, even today. I still think there's a place for that. And there still are reputable proprietary schools. They get overshadowed by the big guys, though.

rfisher
07-29-2010, 04:09 PM
The thing for me is that most of those students, in my experience, don't even know enough to know they need to ask the questions. They don't even know that it could be an issue. They don't realize that there's a difference between a U of P (or Strayer, Walden, Kaplan, Devry, ITT...) degree and one from their local state college. If anything, they think that because U of P is private, it must be better.

A local proprietary medical imaging school grad is experiencing that right now. She wants to enter the professional level of our program, but the University will not accept any of her radiography coursework. I was surprised because I thought they (her school) was routing their students through the local community college for an AAS degree the same as we did, but apparently not. If she'd done that, the coursework would have transferred. Moreover, the reputation of the program is keeping her from getting a job. She was hoping to get an advanced certification and coursework through us, but I'm not certain she's going to be able to do it.

PDilemma
07-29-2010, 04:21 PM
It's a long complicated story, but, essentially, the private liberal arts college in the town I live in just shut down after a failed attempt to avoid bankruptcy by allowing a for-profit group to buy them out.

The Higher Education Commission is cracking down on those sorts of buyouts as they are wary of "accreditation shopping".

Prancer
07-29-2010, 09:06 PM
A local proprietary medical imaging school grad is experiencing that right now. She wants to enter the professional level of our program, but the University will not accept any of her radiography coursework. I was surprised because I thought they (her school) was routing their students through the local community college for an AAS degree the same as we did, but apparently not. If she'd done that, the coursework would have transferred. Moreover, the reputation of the program is keeping her from getting a job. She was hoping to get an advanced certification and coursework through us, but I'm not certain she's going to be able to do it.

I feel terrible for students like these. I get some every now and then who are having to start all over from scratch because their degrees are useless, and it's got to be one of the most frustrating things ever to have to deal with.

I think that kids and their parents ought to learn about accreditation and what it all means in high school; so many are clueless about such things, and if no one ever lets them know that such a thing exists, they never know that they need to ask about it.

And some of these schools LIE, LIE, LIE to students. Not all of them; in fact, one local proprietary school now has a legible warning right in their commercials that credits earned there might not transfer to other schools. But a lot of them LIE.

rfisher
07-29-2010, 09:30 PM
I feel terrible for students like these. I get some every now and then who are having to start all over from scratch because their degrees are useless, and it's got to be one of the most frustrating things ever to have to deal with.

I think that kids and their parents ought to learn about accreditation and what it all means in high school; so many are clueless about such things, and if no one ever lets them know that such a thing exists, they never know that they need to ask about it.

And some of these schools LIE, LIE, LIE to students. Not all of them; in fact, one local proprietary school now has a legible warning right in their commercialsthat credits earned there might not transfer to other schools. But a lot of them LIE.

This school did indeed lie to their students. She's been communicating with me because she thought the University was just being difficult. I asked her why she hadn't got the CTC credits and she started telling me about how her school had got *accredited* and blah, blah, blah. I had to explain to her what all she'd been told really meant and what really happened.

We're hoping this program will close with the downturn in health care jobs in the area and we'll be the only program left. :D