I’m going to veg out on my couch tonight and watch College, Inc., on my PBS station.
College, Inc., is a FRONTLINE production that explores the explosive and controversial growth of the for-profit higher education industry.
One of the universities profiled in this investigation is the University of Phoenix, which is a darling of Wall Street. University of Phoenix is now the largest university in the country with enrollment approaching 500,000 students.
Many of the students who attend for-profit colleges are also among the most vulnerable. Lots of these students should be attending community colleges, which are so much cheaper. Many students are sucked into attending for-profit schools through slick marketing.
Here’s what one former employee at a for-profit university based in California said about the intense recruiting: “They used to tell us, you know, ‘Dig deep. Get to their pain. Get to what’s bothering them. So, that way, you can convince them that a college degree is going to solve all their problems.’ ”
The student loan default rate at for-profit universities is frightening. These schools enroll 10% of post-secondary students, but they account for nearly 25% of all federal student aid.
If you watch College, Inc., tonight, don’t choke on your popcorn.
Lynn O’Shaughnessy is the author of The College Solution and she also writes a college blog for CBSMoneyWatch. Follow her on Twitter.
While for-profit colleges are convenient, the teaching quality is compromised, and free money is difficult to obtain.
Here is my reaction to the Frontline episode College-Inc.
Prepped & Polished