Sunday, September 25, 2016

The for-profit college debacle are state colleges any better?

It is time the US Department of Education look at State run colleges and universities. 

St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author: In Search of Robin

The federal government through the US Department of Education has done an excellent job of ferreting out abuse and fraud in the for-profit college business.

There have been a number of these colleges, including Corinthian, and most recently, ITT Tech completely shut down.

The main concern was the intensive marketing efforts at those eligible for college loans and especially veterans.

There were many questions regarding the quality of the education the value of the degrees and certificates.

US Senator has Dick Durbin has led the charge looking into the for-profit college sector.

"The continued upheaval in the wake of Corinthian’s collapse is a long overdue reckoning for an industry that profits off of students while sticking them with a worthless degree and insurmountable debt," Senator Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, said in a written statement.

For some additional insight check out the article in Higher Ed by Paul Fain Vanishing Profit, and Campuses.

Here is a List of For-Profit Universities and colleges Wikipedia which includes a list of those for profits that have closed.

It is time the US Department of Education look at State run colleges and universities.

The massive influx of money from student loans has allowed tuitions at state run colleges and universities to soar to astronomical levels. It is not hard to believe that some of these same aggressive and misleading marketing tactics are at play in major public colleges and universities.

Along with all this money has come over bloated salaries for professors and administrators, growing numbers of departments and degrees, which produce graduates with no marketable degrees or skills and massive student debt.

Nothing corrupts an educational institution, whether for- profit or nonprofit faster than a big infusion of easy money. State college campuses have become more palatial than practical. One only has to drive out I4 and look at Florida Poly tech to see the effect and expectation of big money from student loans.

It is time to look at the same issues: marketing techniques, job promises, student-loan marketing, placement and job results and make sure state run institutions are not just as guilty as the for-profits at running up student debt.

A degree fine art with an emphasis on cracked pottery that takes a student six years to earn and results in a $125,000 in student debt is not a career benefit. It is a millstone he or she will carry around their neck for a good part of their life.

Student loans are too easy to get; colleges are too quick to push them, too eager to let students extend times to complete degrees (more money from student loans) and provide little or no counseling regarding the after graduation effects of these heavy debt loads.

New criteria for student loans need to be established based on the earning potential of the degree being sought. Degrees with a low market value should qualify for no or much lower student-loan  access.

There are a lot of 24 year olds and up college graduates living with their parents because they cannot get a job that will pay their student loans and any reasonable living expenses.

I for one would like to see all current college loans paid off to the loan holders, the leeches that mortgaged a generation of college students, at ten cents on the dollar and the entire current student loan program stopped or highly modified.

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Contributor: Bob Gualtieri for Pinellas County Sheriff , Patrick Murphy for US Senate, Charlie Crist for Congress

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