Gov't Targets For-Profit Colleges; Corinthian Colleges May Shut Down

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by GarrAarghHrumph, Jun 20, 2014.

  1. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

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    The federal and state government are (finally) really going after the for-profit college industry.

    Corinthian Colleges in the US, which owns Everest, Wyotech, Heald and a few other schools, may shut down this week if they can't find funding. Last week, the government held its ability to access federal financial aid due to issues the school did not resolve. The Department of Education said that Corinthian refused to address issues with its marketing practices, as well as falsification of job placement data. In fact, they said the school refused to even respond when the DoE contacted them about these issues.

    CEC owns Sanford Brown, the Le Cordon Bleu schools, and Colorado Technical University, amongst others.

    EMC owns the Art Institute chain of schools, Brown Mackie, Argosy U, and South U.

    ITT Tech, I believe, only uses its own name on its schools.

    http://online.wsj.com/articles/cori...dity-shortage-after-u-s-delays-aid-1403185543

    What do you guys think of the for-profit schools?
     
  2. judiz

    judiz Well-Known Member

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    I think these school need more regulation. The commercials make it seem like jobs would be readily available after graduation, giving false hope to many.
     
  3. Reuven

    Reuven Official FSU Alte Kacher

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    They're a scam. For-profit schools exist to get money from gov't. Students take out the loans, the schools get the money, students are left holding air....and loan payments.
     
  4. Gazpacho

    Gazpacho Well-Known Member

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    It's about time. Too late for all the people who've been scammed.
     
  5. Prancer

    Prancer The "specialness" that is Staff Member

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    There are for-profits and for-profits, just like everything else. Some of them are scams and some of them aren't.

    Lots of students who graduate from non-profits also end up with air and loan payments, too. There are no guarantees.

    I think for-profits need to be reined in, but there is a niche need for them that places like community colleges does not fill.
     
  6. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

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    I think the schools mentioned above are pretty much scams. The local ones I'm familiar with don't really offer anything that you can't get at the community colleges for much cheaper.

    There are slightly more prestigious for-profit schools that don't seem quite so scam-ish yet when I talk to people who work there, it turns out they are pretty questionable too. There was a big scandal in the photography industry about Brooks down in SoCal a few years back, for example.
     
  7. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    I think the danger is when you don't know which ones are good, or when you haven't mentally prepared yourself for attending one.

    I know someone who attended an Academy of Art campus, after getting his bachelor's at a small supportive private uni. He got a lot out of AA, but the administration was beyond useless and didn't care about the students. All they cared about was getting the students' money or loans. At least the teachers were good, but a lot of students failed out (which is typical of for-profits) because there's no support system for them, and they basically take anybody.

    My friend succeeded because he knew what he was getting into. Most students don't.
     
  8. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

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    They have a demonstrated pattern of lying about job prospects and future salaries, lying about transferability of credits, and admitting students who are totally unqualified to pursue certain programs, including admitting students to a pharmacy tech program who could not read at more than an elementary level, and admitting students with felony convictions for assault and similar crimes to nurse's aide programs. They have even offered programs that don't actually qualify the students to gain the state certification needed to be employed in that field. They are a plague on the poor, and it is a shame that the government didn't crack down on them years and years ago.
     
  9. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

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    In that case there not be serious inequities because the graduates of for-profit and regular institutions? In which case, employers would be aware of it? Why then would anyone go to these schools?

    There may be such schools in Canada, but I'm not aware of any. In my view the very concept of a 'for profit' school is bizarre.
     
  10. Gazpacho

    Gazpacho Well-Known Member

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    Yes, there are serious inequities. The students that end up at these schools are often not from educated families and don't know the difference between a for-profit and non-profit. They know it's a college, and a private one, so they infer that the colleges must be better than their local public community colleges. They're drawn in by the fancy advertising, and when they visit the campus or ask for more information, the colleges put on a hard sell and promise the world to them.
     
  11. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    I think that's the real danger, along with lying in their marketing. They can and do take anyone, and they don't give a shite about you once you're in, as long as you pay them.
     
  12. Prancer

    Prancer The "specialness" that is Staff Member

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    Google and Wiki are your friends: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:For-profit_universities_and_colleges_in_Canada

    While all of that is true, another common scenario is that students start out at community colleges and go to for-profits instead. There are generally two reasons for this:

    1. Time: the community colleges often require the students to take remedial courses and to take gen eds that the for-profits do not. It takes longer to get through school and get a credential, and thus longer to get a job, which is the goal.

    2. Being lost in the shuffle: many community colleges are big, with large students bodies and a lot of bureaucracy. It's easy for students to fall through the cracks, especially students who are the first in their families to go to college and have no one to help them through the process. It's the community colleges where the students feel that

    For-profits very often hold students' hands to a degree that isn't possible at community colleges--they tend to stay right on top of the students to keep them going to school.

    And again, there are for-profits that are not scams, that do produce students who get jobs and do well. Some of them have better success rates than do community colleges, most of which have pretty dismal rates themselves. Many for-profits are trade schools and did fine when that was their role; the expansion of federal financial aid programs made some of them greedy and they expanded in order to take advantage, and that was their downfall (ITT is usually seen as a prime example of this). But there is a need for something besides community college to train people for basic skilled work; one reason the government hasn't done more to crack down on these school is that their own reports, scathing as they may be, always note that we need something out there besides community college for students. Contrary to popular opinion, not everyone can do community college; many , many students flunk out or drop out, and then where do they go? Bad for-profits need to be closed down, but then what?
     
  13. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

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    The School of Visual Arts, in NYC, is actually a for-profit. It's also one of the top 10 art schools in the US. And I've worked at some reputable for-profits who saw their mission as helping students who otherwise might have drowned at a community college, get through school. So not all are bad. It's just that the bad ones paint their whole industry as bad.

    I am thus especially glad that the Ai chain of schools is under scrutiny. To me, that entire chain is just out there to rip off students. And it's such a shame, because the original Ai, the Ai of Pittsburgh, used to be a decent commercial art school.
     
  14. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

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    Public vocational programs.
     
  15. Prancer

    Prancer The "specialness" that is Staff Member

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    I don't know about where you live, but where I live, the only public vocational programs are offered by....community colleges. Which perform that function because it is more fiscally efficient than having separate programs and is thus not likely to change.

    And the issues with community colleges are also not likely to change.

    I just read a fairly long article about how so many of these schools went wrong in the 90s. It's one thing to want to make a profit; it's another thing to be so intent on making a profit that you completely lose sight of the fact that you have to actually DO something for the money or the entity paying the bills gets rather pissed off.

    However, all of this scrutiny has bled right over to community colleges and spread upwards from there. Just wait to see what happens if President Obama gets the college ranking system he wants. Wheeeee.
     
  16. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

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    If the bad schools close down, there is more money available for the good for-profits who maybe won't get drowned out in the noise these scam schools are making. Or maybe some new schools that are not scams can find a toe-hold in the marketplace and fill the vacuum left by these bad schools. But that can't happen if the bad schools are left to operate because "hey, we need *some* alternative to community colleges"
     
  17. Prancer

    Prancer The "specialness" that is Staff Member

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    Actually, there isn't. That's a whole lot of what this is all about--less money. And not just for for-profit schools.

    I believe the government's philosophy on this to date has been "Hey, we need *some* alternative to community colleges so we are going to give these schools time to clean up their acts because there really isn't anything else out there." And such schools have had quite a bit of time to get their acts together because there really isn't anything else out there and because closing the schools creates other problems. At this point, the schools either haven't done enough to improve or the government is being unreasonable, depending on whose point of view you listen to. But closing these schools won't free up cash. The point here is for the government to cut back on education spending.

    Meanwhile, shutting down the bad schools will save future students from entanglement, but what should be done with current students?

    There is no precedent for the shuttering of a for-profit chain that enrolls 72,000 students across 107 campuses. But it is possible -- or maybe even likely -- that Corinthian Colleges will go bankrupt in coming weeks.

    “The Education Department and the accreditors do not appear to have contemplated a scenario in which tens of thousands of students are simultaneously displaced,” according to The Capital Forum, a Beltway-based newsletter founded by Teddy Downey, executive editor of a subscription news and analysis company, who tracks the for-profit industry. “Such lack of planning has likely created the possibility for a chaotic situation to arise.”

    For-profits aren't the only schools in trouble. City College of San Francisco, a community college, is one example of a nonprofit in the government's crosshairs.

    And you can expect to see more of this. As with anything else, there are pros and cons. Bad schools need to improve or close; closing the schools reduces option for students and creates havoc for those currently enrolled.

    ETA: Corinthian and the Department of Ed reached an agreement today.
     
  18. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

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    But if there's less money available, it's going not be available even if these schools stay open. I prefer to have them close, as orderly as possible, because it keeps unsuspecting people out of them. I think no alternative is better than a bad alternative for most of these students.
     
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  19. Prancer

    Prancer The "specialness" that is Staff Member

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    I think the government has the right of it in trying to get the bad schools to become better schools. Students who attend for-profits are commuters (or online students, which brings up different issues); if you close down a school in Montana because it's a bad school, there isn't an alternative around the corner and very few of the students are able to move to go to school, even if they are willing. And as I pointed out, there are issues for students who do have the alternative of a local community college (although the government is also pushing CCs pretty hard to develop programs that keep close tabs on struggling students, similar to what a lot of for-profits do).

    I'm not a fan of better-than-nothing, but I don't think nothing is the right answer, either.
     
  20. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

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    It looks like Corinthian has struck some sort of deal with the government. However, they will have to either shut down ("teach out") some campuses, or sell them:
    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-corinthian-colleges-20140624-story.html#page=1

    So that basically means that the schools don't need to shut their doors immediately.


    I agree with the article - they'll sell off WyoTech, as that school actually has a decent rep in its industry. I am not familiar with Heald, which the article mentions. But other than those two, I expect their other colleges to close.
     
  21. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

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    Yes but they tried and tried and the schools didn't get better. At some put you have to give up on them.
     
  22. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

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  23. J-Ro

    J-Ro Active Member

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    These schools prey on the lower-income student who has little to no knowledge of higher education. For-profit schools don't so much have admission counselors as a sales force. Many prospective students believe the sales pitch. Yet even those who graduate are still deficient in skills needed for a job in their chosen course of study. Employers do know this. For many, a degree earned at these "institutions" are indeed worthless. In fact, there have been public service ads on the NYC subway with photos and short bios of students who have been scammed along with a city hotline to call for questions about one of these schools.

    And yes, the idea of profit associated with education is indeed antithetical to education itself. Most of these schools are not regionally accredited and degrees and credits earned there are not transferable.
     
  24. J-Ro

    J-Ro Active Member

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    This is so, so true.

    Instead, community colleges are a wonderful resource. And just because it has the heading of "community" does not mean the academic standards are diminished. Here in Massachusetts, many instructors at community colleges are professors at other universities. Community college credits are also transferable; the associate's degree earned at one gains you automatic admission to complete a bachelor's degree at any state university in Massachusetts.
     
  25. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

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  26. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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  27. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

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    I think the only two that will remain, perhaps, relatively unscathed after all this are going to be the big two - Phoenix and Devry. I'll bet they'll survive. The others, like the ITTs of the world, may fold, and good riddance to them.