Friday, October 8, 2010

For Profit Colleges

In what has to be the longest opinion piece ever published on the Internet, Maria Bustillos, writing for The Awl, gives you the scoop on the for profit colleges. For the easily exhausted, the Tenants will provide an excerpt:

"According to Frank Donoghue’s book, The Last Professors, fully one-third of American two- and four-year colleges were for-profit by 2003. The University of Phoenix alone currently enrolls over 440,000 students, making it the second-largest higher-education system in the country after SUNY. In 2008, when Donoghue’s book was published, the seven biggest public companies running these schools had a combined market cap of over $22 billion and enrolled nearly 700,000 students—nearly seven percent of all college students enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities that year. Total for-profit enrollment had ballooned to over a million by the time of the GAO investigation."

This is particularly relevant because:

"The General Accounting Office reported on August 4th on an undercover investigation that revealed the widespread fleecing of students in order to grab a staggering amount of Federal money: $24 billion in loans and grants provided by the Department of Education in 2009 alone."

And, of course:

"Instruction at for-profit schools is provided exclusively by employees of these companies, rather than by professors—there’s no such thing as research or tenure at a for-profit 'university'—and accreditations are relatively shakier than at traditional schools. Donohue reports that the University of Phoenix never even applied for accreditation from the most prestigious agency for business schools, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, for example. Only 26 percent of their instructors have been with the University of Phoenix for four or more years. Classes are shorter—24 hours of instructor time for a class, compared to 40 hours at a traditional school."

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