Archive for the ‘News’ Category

http://www.finaid.org/educators/20101011missouriimpactanalysis.pdf

 

Report from Mark Kantrowitz

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A great video.

Posted: October 14, 2010 in News
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The following letter was sent earlier this week from APSCU President Harris Miller to Dr. Jill Biden regarding the White House Summit on Community Colleges.  While APSCU believes this is a step in the right direction, it is important that Washington not overlook private sector colleges and universities if we are to fulfill President Obama’s goal of the highest percentage of college graduates by 2020:

Dear Dr. Biden:

Congratulations on convening the first Community College Summit.  Your deep commitment to higher education is clear, and your leadership gives those of us who work in higher education confidence that our future workforce is in caring hands.  From business leaders, to lawmakers, to community college administrators and students, your Summit will bring together a diverse and impressive array of stakeholders – all of whom are committed to improving and enhancing higher education.

But one group is missing: the 3.2 million students and the more than 250,000 employees who populate private sector universities and colleges.  We are sorry about this missed opportunity, but we stand ready to support you, President Obama and Vice President Biden and to help attain the goal of the highest percentage of college graduates in the world by 2020.

Our institutions provide paths forward for students who, in many cases, have no other options.  Most students at our schools do not conform to the profile of a traditional student.  For example, 76% are financially independent of their parents; 47% have dependent children; 28% work full time; and 63% are age 24 or older.  Before the discussion turns overly abstract, we should remember the faces and stories of aspiring students.  There are countless examples of people, unable to find success within the traditional educational system, who have turned to private sector colleges and universities — and flourished as a

As you know, our schools work closely with the employer community to ensure that their faculty, curricula and facilities are preparing students for meaningful careers.  Last year, 54% of all new allied health workers and 10% of nurses received their degrees, diplomas, or certificates from private sector colleges and universities.  Though in 2008 our sector represented only 8% of higher education students (we have now climbed to 12%), 15% of all degrees and certificates were awarded by our institutions.  This positive outcome is because our schools focus so intently on outcomes for their students—getting the degree and getting the job.

On September 29, 2010, over 2,000 students rallied on Capitol Hill with lawmakers from both parties to tell their inspiring stories of their time at private sector colleges and universities.  Progressive Democrats and Conservative Republicans—at a time of election-year partisanship—joined hands and stood with these students.  We must follow these students’ lead and together find a way forward.

The millions of students in private sector schools deserve the same attention and encouragement as those students in other postsecondary institutions.  Please don’t forget to include our students in future White House discussions of how best to prepare our future workforce for the 21st Century.  Only by joining forces will we help our country regain its global leadership in higher education and allow many more Americans to achieve their dreams.

APSCU contact: Bob Cohen.

 

From: http://www.career.org/iMISPublic/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Newsletters1&CONTENTID=21401&TEMPLATE=/CM/ContentDisplay.cfm

by Grant Explorer on Thursday, October 7th, 2010

For-profit colleges are beginning to launch an all-out war to fight what they see as unfair attacks from such critics as community colleges and the federal government.

Fort Lauderdale-based Keiser University sued a Jacksonville community college on Monday, claiming administrators there maligned its school. At the same time, a group representing 19 other for-profit schools released a study slamming recruiting practices and student achievement at community colleges, which compete for many of the same students and government dollars.

And last week, more than 2,000 career college students and supporters attended a rally in Washington, D.C., to protest proposed regulations that could strip the for-profit colleges of much of their federal aid.

“The misinformation is just extraordinary, and we have been absolutely miserable at defending ourselves,” said Keiser chancellor Arthur Keiser, who also leads the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities, the industry lobbying group. “Finally, I think that’s beginning to change.”

The sector has come under fire in the past year, as Senate hearings and federal government reports have raised questions about recruiting practices, student debt and the large amounts of federal dollars the schools receive. For-profits say they are being unfairly singled out.

Keiser claims in its lawsuit that the president and another administrator at Florida State College at Jacksonville launched a smear campaign against Keiser and the entire for-profit sector. The university based many of its claims on documents obtained through a public records request to the community college.

According to the suit, college president Steven Wallace sullied the reputation of Keiser and other for-profit schools in an April 2009 e-mail to a short seller, who would profit if the price of publicly-traded education stocks declined in value, the suit alleges. The community college was launching a new technical school at the time and saw Keiser as competition, according to the suit.

“The new technical college we will launch … is designed, in part, to drive the sleazebags out of our region,” according to Wallace’s e-mail.

The suit also alleges that school officials fed the media stories that for-profit schools “ripped off” their students and provided them with “worthless degrees.” Keiser’s business suffered, with lower than expected enrollments and restricted access to recruit at area high schools.

“They were out to harm our business, and it got to a point where this was intolerable,” said James Waldman, Keiser’s general counsel.

Wallace called the suit “absurd,” adding, “we are not concerned in the slightest because we have done nothing improper.”

Florida State College officials say they suspect Keiser is upset because community colleges have supported tighter controls of the for-profit industry. The U.S. Department of Education has proposed new rules that would limit colleges’ access to student aid if too many students default on their loans or fail to find “gainful employment.”

For-profit colleges received $4 billion in federal Pell Grants and $20 billion in federal loans in 2009, making up the bulk of their revenues, federal data show. And while only 12 percent of college students attend for-profit schools, they account for 43 percent of student loan defaults. Most students in community colleges don’t take out student loans, since tuition is state-subsidized and considerably cheaper.

“We are simply trying to protect our local college students from excessive debt,” Wallace said. “We will continue to do so on behalf of our community and will defend the college vigorously in court. ”

Keiser’s fight is not limited to Florida State College. Last week, it sent 28 students and supporters to Washington, D.C., to join a national rally against proposed federal regulations. Keiser nursing program graduate Greg Shaw, 44, of Tallahassee, was one of them.

“I worked very hard for a program where we lost 60 percent of the students who didn’t make the grade,” he said. “Now I’m hearing people sneering, saying, ‘I understand the government is cracking down on programs like yours.’ It has the effect of devaluing the degree I worked hard for, and it’s offensive.”

Career colleges and their supporters say the industry is being unfairly attacked. For example, a recent Government Accountability Report did an undercover investigation of recruiting practices at 15 for-profit colleges, but didn’t look at other education sectors. Problems were found in all the campuses, with potentially fraudulent behavior at four schools. Keiser was not among those visited.

Several for-profits, including Kaplan Higher Education and the University of Phoenix, have issued a long list of changes to address the problems, including restructuring their pay system so advisers aren’t working on commission, thus discouraging the use of high-pressure sales tactics.

Immediately after the government report, Kaplan suspended enrollment at Kaplan College locations in Pembroke Pines and Riverside, Calif., and that’s still in effect. A company statement said Kaplan is conducting a thorough investigation to make sure students and applicants “are treated in the most responsible and ethical manner possible,” and that employees are following all laws and company policies.

But industry officials say community colleges are also guilty of questionable practices. The Coalition for Education Success, made up of such schools as the Art Institutes and Argosy University, commissioned an undercover operation of practices at community colleges. The report states admission officials wouldn’t release graduation data and gave misleading or evasive data about job placement rates and earnings potential of graduates.

The survey also quotes federal data that shows community colleges have graduation rates of 21 percent, compared to 58 percent for career colleges.

“At a time when community colleges are being touted as the answer for educational achievement and job placement in this country, we found troubling evidence to the contrary,” said Jean Norris, lead researcher on the study.

If all the findings are true, it still doesn’t negate the need for reforms in the for-profit industry, said critic David Hawkins, director of public policy for the National Association for College Admission Counseling.

“The stakes must be extraordinarily high for the for-profits to be responding with such aggressive tactics,” he said. “The regulations proposed would fundamentally alter their business model, which is something they’re not interested in doing right now.”

From: http://www.exploringgrants.com/keiser-university-sues-jacksonville-college/

http://www.nortonnorris.com/pdfs/spotlight-on-community-college-recruitment_10_04_10.pdf

Here is another http://www.nortonnorris.com/pdfs/spotlight-on-community-college-recruitment_10_04_10.pdf

Following on this morning’s post about privately held for-profit school The Keiser School suing Florida State College at Jacksonville, Keiser’s senior counsel, James Waldman, was kind enough to take a few minutes this afternoon to talk with me by phone.

Most interesting to investors following the travails of publicly listed for-profits such as Grand Canyon Education (LOPE) and Apollo Group (APOL), and others, is that Waldman contends the suit is a first of its kind in terms of alleging defamation against for-profit ed, but he also says Keiser has not joined forces with any other for-profits, public or private, in bringing suit. The action is strictly related to what the company sees as a particular smear campaign by Florida State.

Waldman says the company can show that misleading statements by executives of Florida State, featured in the media, harmed the company’s business by reducing enrollment and even getting Keiser barred from recruiting at some high schools.

The issues in the suit, however, go to the heart of the criticisms against for-profit ed.

“Florida State has said that we [Keiser] are ripping off our students, and has said our degree is worthless,” said Waldman.

“There is no evidence that our degree is worthless. It is the same degree that can be obtained at the University of Florida,” contends Waldman. ”

“We have higher graduation rates than the community colleges do, and we create more jobs [for graduates] than they do,” said Waldman.

As for the connection to short sellers, such as Steve Eisman of FrontPoint Financial Services, who are named in the suit as co-conspirators, Waldman says Eisman and others “have been in direct communication with the named defendants,” exchanging information about for-profit ed.

As for Eisman, he also spoke with me this afternoon by phone. Eisman tells me he had never heard of Keiser before hearing of the suit last night. Eisman is not a party to the suit.

“I laughed,” Eisman tells me. “It’s very hard to be a co-conspirator about an institution I’ve never heard of.”

Eisman said he may have had some contact with Florida State’s government liaison, Susan Lehr, who is named as a defendant. However, it was only in the context of a general discussion of for-profit ed. “I speak to a lot of people about this stuff,” says Eisman. “We never spoke about any particular schools, and I’d never heard of Keiser before.”

The suit is ultimately “not at all important to the for-profit eds,” contends Eisman. “What I have said publicly,” adds Eisman, “is that the graduation rates are exceptionally low [in for-profit ed], the default rates are astronomical, and that the federal government should do something to change the industry. Those first two are facts, the latter is my opinion.”

From: http://blogs.barrons.com/stockstowatchtoday/2010/10/05/keiser-details-smear-campaign-against-it-eisman-never-heard-of-em/

Washington, D.C.—U.S. Representative Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson, R-Howard, today told a rally of a thousand students that, “You have every right to determine your own educational needs; you have every right to determine your future career path; and, you have every right to make your own destiny.”

Thompson joined his colleagues Reps. Rob Andrews (D-NJ); Alcee Hastings (D-FL); and Brett Guthrie (R-KY) at the foot of the U.S. Capitol in a bipartisan show of support for the students’ concerns about U.S. Department of Education proposed regulations on “gainful employment”.

If the “gainful employment” rules go into effect, they will eliminate access to higher education for as many as 400,000 students per year. These rules apply almost exclusively to the for-profit sector of higher education, while ignoring the same issues concerning student debt found at public and private non-profit institutions.

One of the requirements for for-profit institutions to participate in the federal student aid program is that they offer a course of study that leads to “gainful employment” in a recognized occupation. Despite over forty years of existing precedent, the Education Department is considering regulations to define “gainful employment” by establishing an arbitrary 12 percent debt-to-earnings threshold based on student debt for recent graduates of each program offered by the institution. One way of explaining that is a question posed by the Department: Are graduates with typical student debt able to repay their loans in ten years without taking 12 percent of the expected earnings in the occupation?

Once again, these new regulations do not affect public and private not-for-profit universities and colleges.

“The President has promoted a policy to have 5 million new college graduates by 2020,” said Thompson. “I commend the President for that goal, however, I have to stop and wonder how we’re going to achieve the mission if the Department of Education is going to put up road blocks—or—decide that you can only attend one type of school over another.”

“I represent a very rural district in Pennsylvania,” Thompson told the rally. “Many of my constituents don’t have access to a community college and live a significant distance from universities. Many proprietary schools have sprung up out of necessity.”

The effect of these regulations will be that student choice will be limited, because for-profit institutions may not be able to continue offering certain programs, to ensure the proposed debt-earnings-ratio.

“Many students in Pennsylvania choose these schools because of their convenience. They realize that career colleges offer course work of all types and work to accommodate the busy schedules that we all have. They realize that life does not just stop for four years—so you can go to school. And they realize these institutions will give them the skills they need to enter the work force and earn a decent living,” added Thompson.

In May, Thompson joined 9 members of the Pennsylvania Congressional Delegation in sending a letter in opposition to Education Secretary Arne Duncan on this issue, requesting that the Department vacate the proposed changes. In August, the Department of Education released a formal proposal. Since, Thompson has joined with several of his colleagues on the House Education & Labor Committee in submitting formal comments in opposition to the rules as proposed.

This week, the Department of Education, due to extensive public comment, has decided to move the scheduled publication date of the rules from November 1, 2010, to July 1, 2011.

From : http://friendsofglennthompson.blogspot.com/2010/10/thompson-rallies-with-students-for.html

A for-profit college is suing Florida State College at Jacksonville, its president, and its chief lobbyist for “tortious interference with a business relationship” and “injurious falsehood” in connection with what it says was “a false and misleading campaign in the Florida press and the national media designed to disparage Keiser University and to drive Keiser and other proprietary schools out of business.”

The complaint, filed yesterday in Broward County, Florida, names two money managers, Steven Eisman of Frontpoint Financial Services Fund, LP, Greenwich, Conn., and Gilchrist Berg of Water Street Capital, Jacksonville, Fla., as “co-conspirators.”

The involvement of short-sellers in the push for increased regulation of for-profit colleges and universities has been the subject of extensive coverage here, but the court complaint lays out new details about the way that the government-backed colleges — the complaint terms Florida State College at Jacksonville “a state-funded direct competitor of Keiser University” — worked hand in hand with short-sellers.

“Keiser suffered special damages as a result of Defendants’ negative media campaign in the form of, among other things, decreases in expected enrollment, increased costs of doing business, and decreased business valuation,” the complaint claims.

The complaint says the president of Florida State College at Jacksonville, Steven Wallace, sent Mr. Berg, described as “a prominent Jacksonville short-seller” an e-mail “with information to use against the proprietary schools.”

The complaint also cites an email from the top lobbyist for Florida State College at Jacksonville, Susan Lehr, that “personally insulted Dr. and Mrs. Keiser, Keiser University officials. Ms. Lehr called Mrs. Keiser “very arrogant like him. I guess that is what happens to you when you ‘earn’ $20 million a year and own 5 jets.”

The suit says that Ms. Lehr was “trading information with Eisman” who “stood to profit if the value of proprietary schools declined.”

And it says that Ms. Lehr promoted an Eisman speech critical of for-profit colleges in advance and “tailored a Florida State College press release to Eisman’s message.”

Says the complaint: “In May 2010, short seller Steve Eisman gave a speech called ‘subprime goes to college’ that predicted for-profit stocks would continue to fall. The speech also helped ensure that they would.”

A PDF of the complaint in the lawsuit is here.

The suit was first reported yesterday by the Florida Times-Union.

We have calls in to Florida State College for their response and will post it when we receive it; they had no comment to the Times-Union, saying that they had not yet had a chance to review the complaint.

From: http://www.futureofcapitalism.com/2010/10/co-conspirator-eisman

Keiser University, a regional for-profit college, has filed suit against Florida State College at Jacksonville President Steven Wallace and one of his top administrators, saying they tried to sully the school’s image by colluding with detractors of for-profit colleges.

The crux of Keiser’s civil suit, filed Monday in Broward County, hinges on e-mails from Wallace and Susan Lehr, FSCJ’s vice president of government relations. The e-mail exchanges included representatives from The Institute for College Access and Success, a national group that has lobbied for tighter restrictions on for-profit schools.

The lawsuit claims the community college leaders tried to launch a clandestine smear campaign designed to build negative publicity for the proprietary college, which has one campus in Jacksonville.

An FSCJ spokesman said Wallace hadn’t received the lawsuit by Monday evening and declined to comment.

In the e-mails, an account linked to Wallace disparages the for-profit sector in a note to Gilchrist Berg, a prominent Wall Street short seller who founded a multibillion-dollar Jacksonville-based hedge-fund firm.

“All right, my friend. Here is a bunch of good stuff to get you started in your exploration of greed, corruption and predatory schemes among Florida’s proprietary and for-profit career ‘colleges,’” the e-mail said. “The new technical college we will launch on 8/1/09 is designed, in part, to drive the sleazebags out of our region.”

The same e-mail identifies Lehr as the “designated antagonizer of the privates.”

Other e-mails include correspondence between Lehr and Steve Eisman, a hedge-fund manager who gave a vitriolic speech against for-profit education during a Senate hearing in May.

“I cannot thank you enough for speaking out on the for-profit higher ed industry,” the e-mail said. “I read your speech and could just leap with joy!”

The lawsuit alleges Lehr “tailored a Florida State College press release” to the speech’s message, which alluded to the “subpriming of students.” The release was distributed to multiple news outlets, according to the lawsuit.

Keiser officials said the negative publicity has hindered student enrollment and financially harmed the company. The suit seeks damages, but a total amount wasn’t listed.

James Waldman, Keiser’s general counsel, said this is the first lawsuit ever filed by Keiser.

It’s unclear if this is the first time a for-profit school has sued a state-funded institution.

“My hope is other proprietary schools take action if this is going on elsewhere,” Waldman said. “There is no place in this country for the government schools to operate in such a manner to harm private businesses.”

matt.coleman@jacksonville.com, (904) 359-4654

From: http://jacksonville.com/news/florida/2010-10-04/story/profit-college-sues-fscj-president

Hedge-fund manager Steven Eisman made a fortune shorting subprime debt, and at last May’s Ira Sohn Conference in New York he announced his next target: For-profit colleges. Now Eisman’s efforts have inspired a nasty lawsuit by a Florida school that accuses him of conspiring with administrators at two competing public colleges to drive down the value of for-profit schools.

I’d file this under “sour grapes” along with any number of similar suits against short-sellers, or the United States Football League’s hail-Mary antitrust suit against the NFL. Except for two things: Plaintiff  Keiser University in Fort Lauderdale used the Freedom of Information Act to get all sorts of nasty e-mails from public school administrators to the short-sellers. And the law firm at the bottom of the complaint, Bartlit Beck , has a well-deserved reputation for top-gun litigation.

The suit is curious because it doesn’t name Eisman or the other short-sellers as defendants and the plaintiff, Keiser, isn’t one of Eisman’s publicly traded targets. Instead it names Steven Wallace and Susan Lehr, chief executive and head of government relations, respectively, at Florida State College at Jacksonville. But more litigation may be coming soon. Keiser got 15,000 documents in its FOIA request including some that might give ammunition to public companies should they decide to sue.

“There are other documents out there that were not necessarily relevant to our lawsuit that certainly implicate claims by others,” said James Waldman, in-house counsel at Keiser. Since they’re all public documents, Waldman said, he’s in a sharing mood.

The suit accuses Florida State College of disparaging Keiser and other private schools of feeding “false stories to the media” that the private schools ripped off students and provided worthless degrees. That was Eisman’s investment thesis, of course, as well as a frequent complaint by critics of for-profit career schools that often operate on a stream of federal loan money.

Named as “co-conspirators” are Eisman of Frontpoint Partners in Greenwich, Conn.; Gilchrest Berg of Water Street Capital in Jacksonville; Antal Desai with CMCG in Dallas and officials with several groups opposed to the private student loan industry as well as U.S. Public Interest Group.

“Here’s a bunch of good stuff to get you started in your exploration of greed, corruption and predatory schemes among Florida’s proprietary and for-profit career `colleges,’” Wallace says in one e-mail to Berg the plaintiffs say they obtained under a FOIA request. In another e-mail, Wallace boasts to Berg that a planned new public technical colleege “is designed, in part, to drive the sleazebags out of our region.”

Wallace and Lehr were at a meeting and unavailable for comment Tuesday.

The lawsuit details correspondence between various public-education advocates and reporters at USA Today, Bloomberg, the Miami Herald and others. The suit says such efforts tortiously interfered with the relationship between Keiser and its students and constituted “injurious falsehood.”

In his May speech entitled “Subprime Goes to College,” Eisman ripped the entire sector as providing subpar educations financed with subsidized federal loans. He was particularly critical of Washington Post Co., which has long since moved on from its newspaper roots and now derives most of its earnings from for-profit education including its Kaplan testing unit.

So far, Eisman’s bet has paid off, with for-profit schools falling up to 50% amid rumblings the government will impose new rules tying access to federal loans with the schools’ success in finding graduates jobs.

Meanwhile in August, the General Accountability Office released a report showing that undercover tests of 15 for-profit colleges found that all 15 had engaged in deceptive practices including overstating “undercover applicants’ potential salary after graduation” and failing to disclose all costs. Perhaps mindful of future litigation, the report was careful to state that “results of the undercover tests and tuition comparisons cannot be projected to all for-profit colleges.”

From: http://blogs.forbes.com/danielfisher/2010/10/05/e-mails-spice-up-lawsuit-over-private-colleges/



For-Profit Institution Sues a Public-College President, Alleging a Smear Campaign

In a clear sign of the heightened tensions over proposed new federal regulations on for-profit colleges, Keiser University, a for-profit education system based in Florida, has sued a public-college president there, accusing him and a top administrator of smearing Keiser by communicating derogatory comments about the for-profit education industry to investors and others via e-mail. Keiser itself is not publicly traded, but its founder and chancellor, Art Keiser, has been an outspoken criitic of the proposed regulations. The civil suit was filed in state court against two officials at Florida State College at Jacksonville—its president, Steven R. Wallace, and its vice president for government relations, Susan M. Lehr.

From: http://www.forprofitedu.com/2010/10/keiser-university-files-civil-suit-against-florida-state-college-at-jacksonville/

Student Success Stories Ignored

WASHINGTON, DC (September 29, 2010) – In advance of a new round of expected criticisms of career colleges by Iowa Democratic Senator Tom Harkin at a planned Thursday hearing, more prominent Democrats and progressive advocates are asking for fairness for students of private sector colleges and universities.

In a letter sent today to Harkin, Coalition for Educational Success spokesperson and former Clinton Administration Special Counsel Lanny J. Davis said that the Senator’s overly broad criticisms of career colleges along with proposed U.S. Department of Education rules, would likely have a disproportionate negative effect on disadvantaged students’ access to higher education, especially the lower income and minority students who predominantly attend these colleges.

Davis, a long-time supporter of Senator Harkin’s, asked the Senator to try for more balance and fairness in the planned presentations at Thursday’s hearings.  “I hope that you will not, in fairness, ignore the millions of private sector college student and graduate success stories and not allow one witness with unproven allegations to testify without permitting another witness at the same table at the same time to provide a contemporaneous factual rebuttal.  I respectfully suggest that to do otherwise would be unfair–and inconsistent with all I have observed in your public service over the years,” said Davis in the letter to Senator Harkin.

Davis joins more than 80 members of Congress, including dozens of prominent Democrats, who have voiced their concern over proposed Education Department rules heavily promoted by Harkin, which would limit college access and choice for minority and poor students.  Just this week, progressive Democratic Senators Roland Burris, Herb Kohl and Bill Nelson asked for reconsideration of the proposal.  Leading groups in the African-American and Latino community have also added to the growing chorus of opposition.

More than 2 million students will enroll in career colleges this year, seeking a direct path into the job market by expanding their skills and knowledge.  The overwhelming majority are non-traditional students – full time workers, working parents, minorities, workforce returners and veterans.

Forty-three percent of students at career colleges are minorities and sixty-five percent are women.  The schools graduate nearly double the proportion of minority students when compared to other institutions.

“In the worst economy in a generation, we need more minority and underprivileged kids in college, yet some in Congress and the Obama Administration are considering new regulations that will create obstacles instead of opportunities,” said Davis.  “Underserved students, more than any others, depend on private-sector colleges.  Proposals being discussed will have dramatic consequences by denying choice and access to students, impeding skills training to fill open jobs in the workforce and choking innovation in higher education.”

From http://ed-success.org/press-release-concern-over-criticism-on-private-sector-higher-education.php

Debunking Career College Myths and the Dismal Truths About Community Colleges

Community Colleges Graduate 20% of their students;
Career Colleges Graduate 58%

The Obama Administration is attacking career colleges at the same
time they are lauding community colleges. They propose sweeping
and arbitrary regulations against career colleges while turning a blind
eye to the deep and intractable problems among community colleges.
A look at the facts would suggest that the Administration is attacking
the wrong target and their proposed regulations would hurt the
economy, jobs — and most of all students.
The President has launched Skills for America’s Future to build a
nation-wide network to maximize workforce development strategies,
job training programs and job placement. He has only included
community colleges. By excluding career colleges, he is unnecessarily
shortchanging millions of students and a wide swath of the nation’s
future workforce. The President should include all interested colleges in
this initiative
The fact is students need more higher education choices not less —
and more information, not less. It is in the students’ best interest to
have all colleges judged by the same standards and treated the same
regardless of the school’s structure (for-profit, non-profit or public.)
Take a look at how community colleges and career colleges stack up:
Community colleges have lower, much lower, graduation
rates than career colleges.
■ Career colleges graduate 58 percent of their students. Community
colleges graduate 20 percent.*
■ Career colleges graduate 48 percent of their African-American
students. Community colleges graduate 12 percent.
■ Career colleges graduate 60 percent of their Hispanic students.
Community colleges graduate 15 percent.

■Community colleges participating in the White House
Summit on Community Colleges have graduation rates as
low as 7 percent.
■ Northern Virginia Community College, where Dr. Jill Biden teaches,
has a graduation rate of 13 percent which results in a total taxpayer
cost per graduate of approximately $74,000.
■ City Colleges of Chicago has an average graduation rate of less
than 7 percent which results in a total taxpayer cost per graduate of
approximately $137,000.
■ Ivy Tech Community College has a graduation rate of 8 percent
which results in a total taxpayer cost per graduate of approximately
$120,000.

Community colleges cost taxpayers more, much more, than
career colleges.  It costs taxpayers more than $32,000 for each community college
graduate, over four times the amount it costs taxpayers for a career
college graduate. Career colleges have similar student loan default rates as
community colleges for similar kinds of students.

It’s the type of student not the type of institution that matters most.
Career colleges have the same default rates as community colleges
when taking into account their much higher enrollments of low income
and minority students.

Community colleges have lower job placement success than
career colleges.

75% of career college graduates find employment within 6 months of
graduation.
Career colleges educate and place students in 17 of the 20
fastest growing fields, with career college graduates representing 42%
of all medical workers.

It’s time that all colleges are held to the same high
standards.  The Obama Administration is attacking career colleges while turning
a blind eye to the larger performance issues that exist at community
colleges.  Career colleges offer access and choice to millions of students
who otherwise would not have a pathway to a higher education
or career. But, these students and their schools are being targeted
through burdensome regulations that must be stopped before they
do any more harm. The President cannot achieve his goal of being the
world’s leader in graduation rates by 2020 without the innovation and
flexibility of career colleges.

To learn the facts visit: http://www.ed-success.org/facts.php

The U.S. Department of Education plans to enact new rules targeting the financial aid eligibility of programs at for-profit career institutions; regulations, which they said, are part of an “effort to protect students from aggressive or misleading recruiting practices.”

However, some Black business and political leaders, including Rev. Jesse Jackson, founder of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, famed trial attorney Willie Gary, Randal Pinkett, chairman and CEO of BCT Partners, Harry Alford, president and CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce and members of the Congressional Black Caucus, said the regulations are unfair.

Under the department’s planned “Gainful Employment” regulations, institutions of higher education and post-secondary vocational schools would have to disclose graduation and job placement rates, along with debt levels and incomes of their graduates to prospective students and the department.

Additionally, institutions would also have to provide a five-year projection of enrollment, documentation from employers stating that the institution’s programs meet their business needs, projected job vacancies and job requirements before the program can become eligible to participate in federal student aid.

Milton Anderson, president of Virginia College’s branch in Jackson, Miss. and a spokesman for the Coalition for Education Success, which opposes the proposed regulations, said that 1.2 million students enrolled at career schools are minorities.

“I am concerned that the proposed rule casts too broad and too general a brush on many institutions, some of whom are doing an excellent job at serving economically disadvantaged and minority students,” wrote Jackson in a letter to Education Secretary Arne Duncan on Sept. 15.

Gary voiced his concerns in a newspaper op-ed. “The proposed regulations are aimed at institutions whose graduates don’t often become CEOs, doctors and lawyers. Career schools produce nurses, auto mechanics, computer technicians and other skilled workers, whose services are often overlooked and devalued in our society.”

In response to the objections and concerns raised, the department said in a statement that it would delay publication of the new rules to take “additional time to consider the comments we received and to host several meetings and public hearings in the coming weeks.” The new regulations were scheduled to go into effect on Nov. 1.

“Let me be clear: we’re moving forward on gainful employment regulations,” Duncan said in a statement. “While a majority of career colleges play a vital role in training our workforce to be globally competitive, some bad actors are saddling students with debt they cannot afford in exchange for degrees and certificates they cannot use.”

The department expects the regulations to now take effect in the summer of 2012.

From: http://www.afro.com/sections/news/national/story.htm?storyid=2727

Who has the highest level of educational debt?  Not the “for-profit” schools.

What is the saying?  A picture speaks a thousand words?

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Enzi Blasts ‘Gainful Employment’ Proposal on For-profit Schools

Sen. Mike Enzi (Wyo.), senior Republican on the Senate education committee, is slamming a White House proposal designed to prevent students at for-profit career colleges from defaulting on their loans.

The proposal, Enzi said in comments submitted this month to the Department of Education (DOE), would not only disadvantage for-profit schools relative to their nonprofit competitors, but also limit access for many low-income and minority students, who tend to enroll in for-profits disproportionately.

“Admissions at for-profit institutions may become more selective, and otherwise academically qualified students may be denied admittance,” Enzi wrote. “This outcome is contrary to nearly 50 years of Congressional efforts to make postsecondary education accessible to all Americans.”

The comments echo those of scores of other lawmakers — many of them Democrats — who are pushing the administration to delay the rule until the issue can be studied further.

The issue is of great importance for the health sector because an enormous number of the nation’s health professionals — from nurses to medical technicians — get their training at for-profits.

Under the proposed rule, for-profit programs would have to demonstrate that annual loan payments among recent graduates are less than 8 percent of their starting salaries. The idea is to ensure that graduates will be earning enough to pay off their debts after graduation.

The penalty for non-compliance is steep: Programs that fail to meet the standards could lose access to federal financial aid — of which 23 percent ($24 billion) went to for-profit schools last year.

Enzi said applying the new standards only to for-profit schools “will be sending the message that the Federal government is not concerned with the outcomes for over 75 percent of the Federal investment in student financial assistance.”

Moreover, Enzi argued, it’s not the government’s role to ensure that students’ educational choices “pay off.”

“Federal student financial assistance has historically been provided to increase access and help make postsecondary education more affordable,” Enzi wrote. “It does not remove the responsibility of students and their families to make informed choices and to understand the financial consequences of those decisions.”

The comments put Enzi at sharp odds with Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), the chairman of the Senate education committee who’s urging the White House to adopt the so-called “gainful employment” rule as quickly as possible.

“High student loan debt coupled with low repayment rates signal a questionable investment for students and taxpayers,” Harkin wrote to the DOE on Sept. 9. “[W]e encourage swift implementation of the gainful employment regulation and would be concerned with any efforts to weaken the proposal.”

Bolstering Harkin’s argument, the Education Department this month issued new figures showing that the student-loan default rate at for-profits rose from 11 percent in 2007 to 11.6 percent in 2008 — much higher than default rates at nonprofit schools.

“While for-profit schools have profited and prospered thanks to federal dollars, some of their students have not,” DOE Secretary Arne Duncan said in a statement announcing the figures.

Still, not all liberals are supporting the rule. Jesse Jackson, head of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, is on Enzi’s side, arguing that the change, while well intended, would hurt minority students.

“The amount of debt a student incurs and the student’s ability to repay that debt are not reflections of the quality of an institution,” Jackson wrote in his own comments submitted to DOE. “To apply a standard that looks at debt and repayment as a measure of quality misses a greater opportunity to hold all institutions to a higher standard of student outcomes, namely, graduation rates and successful post-graduation careers.”

The DOE is hoping to finalize its rule by Nov. 1.