Monday, September 10, 2012

Scamming Students For-Profit

Kapplan, Midtown Manhattan
During 2012 summer, Iowa Senator Tom Harkin released the results of a two year investigation into for-profit colleges that confirmed the suspicious that many; individuals and watch-dog groups had for a long time. The rapid growing industry is focused on profits than on students.

The study was conducted by the  Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pension, and showed in the results thirty for-profit colleges, half which are on the stock market such as Apollo's Group, University of Phoenix and the Washington Post Company's Kaplan Higher Education. The results were unsteadily as the for-profit schools take in about 10 to 12 percent of all the students of higher education, they account for over 50% of the defaults. Making several things to be place on doubt such as the acceptance rate as well the interest on the loans.

It's weird that such big corporations as the Washington Post, the Apollo Group, Corinthian Colleges and others, can make a profit from an element that shall be respected but in the world where business and money rule the equation it seems it's not bad to scam people even if they don't have the aptitudes to go through a standard education and leaving any prospective student with a debt that would be impossible to pay according to the salary rates on the job market.

The for-profit's programs appeal largely to lower-income people and veterans looking to earn degrees on their own time through online education. Many of these institutions can cost up to 420% more than the public ones and in certain cases even more than Ivy League colleges giving no choice to the students and up to 95% to seek for federal or private loans to pay for the tuition.

It is kind of an oxymoron that on a time when public schools are facing budget cuts, 86% of the for-profit comes from the tax payers giving them indirectly the money the public institutions need while it shouldn't be on that way as the public loans should be invested in the public sector and not the private one to generate benefit to some corporations that control a monopoly and adding a sum of US$32.000 Bill in revenues that come straight from the taxpayers but for an industry that supposedly has to be perfect according to the supporters the only investment in education a 17% regarding a general percentage as US$4.2 billion are spent in aggressively marketing techniques which add almost a 22% .

Harkin's report also mentioned the executive compensation of for-profit college CEOs as Strayer Education's Robert Silberman, who took on his paycheck around US$41.9 mills in 2009 and the former CEO of Kaplan who got a US$76 mills in 2008. It is unfair with students who are trying to give their best are adding more money to their debt and giving more money to these unscrupulous organizations, no doubt that the education industry needs a reform from the very foundation but specially for these kind of colleges that they shouldn't be receiving any money from the taxpayers at all.