Stay Away from those “On-Line, For-Profit” Schools
Remember the pet-rock fad? People were stupid enough to buy those “pet-rocks.” Surprisingly, the business itself was legitimate. There is another ‘legitimate’ business, which is essentially fraud: several for-profit universities in USA!
Online education by the ‘for-profit universities’ is the next biggest fraud to be exposed.
These schools are businesses. They sell “degrees.” Nothing appears wrong with that until you dig down on their sleazy business practices. Buying a ‘degree’ is not like buying a finished product. Rather, you have to finish the product and take it with you. Few people finish these products.
New York Times has a great article on this recently (emphasis mine).
At institutions that train students for careers in areas like health care, computers and food service, enrollments are soaring as people anxious about weak job prospects borrow aggressively to pay tuition that can exceed $30,000 a year.
But the profits have come at substantial taxpayer expense while often delivering dubious benefits to students, according to academics and advocates for greater oversight of financial aid. Critics say many schools exaggerate the value of their degree programs, selling young people on dreams of middle-class wages while setting them up for default on untenable debts, low-wage work and a struggle to avoid poverty. And the schools are harvesting growing federal student aid dollars, including Pell grants awarded to low-income students.
“If these programs keep growing, you’re going to wind up with more and more students who are graduating and can’t find meaningful employment,” said Rafael I. Pardo, a professor at Seattle University School of Law and an expert on educational finance. “They can’t generate income needed to pay back their loans, and they’re going to end up in financial distress.”
The Apollo Group — which owns the for-profit University of Phoenix — derived 86 percent of its revenue from federal student aid last fiscal year, according to BMO. Two years earlier, it was 69 percent.
For-profit schools have proved adept at capturing Pell grants, which are a centerpiece of the Obama administration’s efforts to make higher education more affordable. The administration increased financing for Pell grants by $17 billion for 2009 and 2010 as part of its $787 billion stimulus package.
Two years ago, students at for-profit trade schools received $3.2 billion in Pell grants, according to the Department of Education, less than went to students at two-year public institutions. By the 2011-12 school year, the administration now estimates, students at for-profit schools should receive more than $10 billion in Pell grants, more than their public counterparts. (Those anticipated increases may shrink, depending on the outcome of wrangling in Congress over health care and student lending.)
Enrollment at for-profit trade schools expanded about 20 percent a year the last two years, more than double the pace from 2001-7, according to the Career College Association.
Mr. Miller, the association’s president, said for-profit schools were securing large numbers of Pell grants because their financial aid offices were diligent and because the schools served many low-income students.
Before you dig deep into debt and enroll into one of these outfits for the lure of a ‘degree,’ which is essentially worthless:
Pet-rocks can be used as paper weights. But, your degree from some of these sleazy colleges will not have any weight even with pet-rocks sitting on top of it.