Posts Tagged ‘private sector education’

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

Under attack for high student default rates, the for-profit sector is fighting back with a  report (pdf) by the Nexus Research and Policy Center that hits proposed Education Department regulations that would limit recruiting and student loan eligibility.

Jorge Klor de Alva, former president of the University of Phoenix and now president of Nexus, calls the attack on for-profits a “witch hunt” in a guest post on The College Puzzle.

For-profit colleges and universities, the fastest growing segment of American higher education, are being accused by the media, the Department of Education, Wall Street’s short sellers, and Congress of deception, greed and a failure to comply with regulations. These accusations rest on only the barest of evidence, relying primarily on anecdotes. In fact, two Government Accountability Office studies this year, one covering thousands of schools since 1998, found only 37 for-profit institutions in violation of Departmental regulations.

The “gainful employment” rule would exclude hundreds of thousands of teaching, nursing, and public safety students, Klor de Alva writes. Applied to the public and nonprofit private colleges, it would “remove so many programs from eligibility for federal financial aid that it could lead to the possible closure of 40% of community colleges, 90% of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and 45% of campuses where Hispanic students constitute more than 25% of the students.”

Only the for-profit higher education sector “can grow sufficiently to accommodate the millions of students the nation must educate to remain globally competitive,” Klor de Alva argues. Furthermore, this comes at “no cost to taxpayers” because the for-profit educators’ taxes and the interest students pay on their federal loans exceeds the dollar value of the Pell Grants and other government subsidies received by students and institutions.

Without a robust for-profit sector, it would cost nearly a trillion dollars to reach President Obama’s goal of being the first in the world in degree attainment by 2020, the Nexus report estimates.

All institutions of higher education should measure the learning outcomes of their students and publish those results, Klor de Alva writes. “Then at last taxpayers would have the data needed to distinguish good from bad performers, making for the efficient disbursement of local, state and federal education subsidies.”

I’d love to see an objective study of subsidies going to public, nonprofit private and for-profit colleges and universities. Which sector costs taxpayers the most? What kind of return are taxpayers getting on the investment?

Objective is the key word. Nexus is funded by the University of Phoenix and the John G. Sperling Foundation, reports Washington Monthly’s College Guide. John Sperling is the executive chairman of the Apollo Group, which owns the University of Phoenix.