A Crime Against Students: The Case Against For-Profit Online Education

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by chrisjm18, Jun 27, 2020.

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  1. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    So, a few years ago, I published a four-part article on for-profit online education. I removed the article from online but came across the Word document on my computer. I thought I'd share here lol Let me know what you think (good, bad, or otherwise). My writing wasn't and still isn't perfect, so feel free to critique that as well haha

    A Crime Against Students: The Case Against For-Profit Online Education - Part 1

    Online education has become the fastest-growing component of higher education over the last decade. In fact, online enrollment has surpassed traditional campus-based program enrollment at several institutions. In Spring 2015 when I was employed at the University of [Deleted], I recalled receiving a newsletter that reported that the campus enrollment had fallen but online enrollment continued to increase over the past few years. College courses, by some estimate, is expected to be based 50% online by 2019. I could go on and on about online education enrollment but that’s not the intent of this article. I want to focus on the predatory for-profit colleges which have come under intense pressure during the Obama Administration. I follow almost every school on Facebook, including for-profits and I often feel a sense of duty to discourage prospective students from falling into the for-profit trap. Of course, I have been blocked by some of these schools when I try to convince these vulnerable students to look at other options. I would block me too if I was operating a business that sells degrees at a profitable cost and I was trying to prevent me from making a sale.

    I’m sure we’ve all heard of the University of Phoenix, the now-defunct ITT Tech, and Corinthian College – three of the largest players in the for-profit education industry. There are several reports and articles available online that expose the unethical behavior of for-profit colleges. Tressie McMillan Cottom, a professor of sociology at the Virginia Commonwealth University talks about the exorbitant price tag that comes with a for-profit education. In her book, Lower Ed The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy, Dr. Cottom explains how for-profit colleges sell their education to the most vulnerable – generally women and the racial minority. Students at for-profit colleges usually have higher student debts than their counterparts at non-profit or public universities. They are also more likely to drop out of their programs of study without completing their degrees.

    Although several for-profit colleges have seen a sharp decrease in their enrollment, there are over 2 million Americans enrolled at for-profit colleges. That’s one too many. What are the alternatives? I think there are endless alternatives since almost every college in the United States offers at least one program online. For-profit colleges might seem attractive since they usually don’t have a selective admission process. By that I mean, they might not require the GRE or other standardized tests, no recommendation letters or writing samples to be admitted to their graduate programs. My advice to those considering attending a for-profit school is to do some research on the alternatives (there are many). I am in no way suggesting that all for-profit schools are bad, in fact, I have attended two for-profit schools. In my next article, I will go into details about choosing a non-profit or a public university. I will also share my for-profit experience, my stay away list, and my list of okay for-profit colleges.
     
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  2. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    A Crime Against Students: The Case Against For-Profit Online Education – Part 2

    “Labor for learning before you grow old, for labor is better than silver and gold, silver, and gold will vanish away but a good education will never decay.” – Desmond Dekker

    What is a good education? I’m sure the answer will vary from one person to another. In my opinion, a school that operates as a profit-seeking business is unlikely to deliver a good education. In 2016, research by Nicholas Turner, a Treasury Department economist, and George Stephanie Riegg Cellini, a Washington University economist found that students who attended for-profit colleges would have been better off not going to school, or attending a community college. The research was based on an analysis of 567,000 students who attended for-profit colleges from 2006 to 2008. More than 80% of these students carried student loan debt.

    I have had two personal experiences with for-profit education, both of which were mostly positive. I earned three qualifications at Ashworth College, a nationally accredited, for-profit online college based in Georgia. I earned my bachelor’s and associate degrees for under $10, 000. Since Ashworth College holds national accreditation as opposed to regional accreditation, students may experience setbacks when applying for grad school or applying for certain jobs. Thankfully, the experience post completion of my degrees at Ashworth has been mostly positive. Shortly after completing my associate degree in 2012, I began my bachelor’s degree. While in my first semester of the bachelor’s program, I applied to the nationally-ranked St. John’s University in New York as a transfer student. I was not only admitted to their bachelor’s degree in criminal justice with 51 transfer credits but I was also offered the maximum transfer scholarship of $15, 000 per year based on my 3.5 GPA. I, unfortunately, had to turn down the offer because I would have to fund the remaining $22, 000 per year. At that time, I was not a resident of the United States, therefore financial aid was not an option.

    I was accepted to a foreign MBA at Assam Don Bosco University (a private Catholic, research university in India) with no issues and eventually admitted to six doctoral programs, including Abilene Christian University, Southeastern University, and Franklin University. In addition, Lamar University requires a regionally accredited bachelor’s in criminal justice for admissions to their master’s in criminal justice, however, I was admitted with a nationally accredited bachelor’s degree. Could my foreign evaluated, U.S. regionally accredited equivalent MBA, have been a deciding factor? Maybe. On the downside, I missed out on degree incentives while serving in the [Deleted] Police Department. The XXPD pays an additional $1, 000 to members with an associate degree, $2, 000 for bachelor’s degree and $3, 000 with a master’s degree or higher. However, the Civil Service Commission requires that the degree is earned at a regionally accredited university/college. This was disappointing, especially because the entry requirement for the XXPD recognizes degrees from schools recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, which includes both regional and national accreditation. However, when it comes to the incentive pay, the requirements differ.

    Now let’s look at selecting a non-profit public or private university. One of the most important things to consider when deciding on a school is accreditation. The most prestigious form of institutional accreditation is regional. There are seven regional accreditation bodies in the United States, they are the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), the Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC), the Southern Association of Colleges and School (SACS), the Western Association of Schools and College (WASC) and the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC). Another form of accreditation to consider is programmatic, this is especially important in fields that require licensure. Some common programmatic (specialized) accreditation are:

    Business – AACSB (most prestigious), ACBSP & IACBE

    Counseling – CACREP

    Education – CAEP (formerly NCATE & TEAC)

    Engineering – ABET

    Nursing – CCNE, NLNAC & ACEN

    Psychology – APA (Note: APA only accredit doctoral programs; however, they do not currently accredit any fully online psychology doctoral program).

    Public Administration – NASPAA

    Social Work – CSWE

    Contrary to what I stated in part one of this article, I will not be providing the list of recommended non-profit public and private universities in part two because I don’t want to make this article unnecessarily long. I will, therefore, write part three which will be solely dedicated to providing some viable options.
     
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  3. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    A Crime Against Students: The Case Against For-Profit Online Education – Part 3

    In the third of my four-part series on avoiding overpriced for-profit online education, I will be providing some great alternatives to “lower ed” institutions. Here are some affordable options to consider for online undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Please note that some programs may require campus visits, e.g. counseling, psychology, social work.

    Public Universities & Not-for-profit (NFP) Universities

    Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs

    Business

    1. Fort Hays State University – $213.33 per credit

    2. Lamar University* – $248 per credit

    3. Louisiana State University – Shreveport* - $248 per credit

    4. Kennesaw State University - $257.33 per credit

    5. University of Arkansas* - $319.96

    6. Southern Illinois University* – Carbondale - $362.30 per credit

    7. University of Missouri* - $376.20 per credit

    8. Sam Houston State University* - $403.75 per credit

    9. Kansas State University* - $433 per credit

    10. Private NFP: Southern New Hampshire University - $320 per credit

    11. Private NFP: Western Governors University - $2, 890 (per 6-month term)

    12. Private NFP: Keystone College - $425 per credit

    *Denotes programs that hold the prestigious AACSB accreditation.

    Communication/Liberal Arts

    1. University of Arkansas - $246.12 per credit

    2. Lamar University – $248 per credit

    3. Private NFP: Southern New Hampshire University - $320 per credit

    Criminal Justice/Security Management

    1. Fort Hays State University –$213.33 per credit

    2. John Jay College of Criminal Justice - $275 per credit

    3. Southern Illinois University – Carbondale - $315 credit

    4. Sam Houston State University - $403.75 per credit

    5. Private NFP: Southern New Hampshire University - $320 per credit

    Education

    1. Fort Hays State University* –$213.33 per credit

    2. University of Missouri* - $376.20 per credit

    3. Kansas State University* - $433 per credit

    4. Private NFP: Western Governors University* - $2, 890 (per 6-month term)

    *Denotes programs that hold CAEP (NCATE or TEAC) accreditation.

    Engineering

    1. Kennesaw State University* - $257.33 per credit

    2. Southern Illinois University* – Carbondale - $315 per credit

    *Denote programs that hold ABET accreditation.

    Information Technology/Cyber Security

    1. Colorado State University – Global Campus - $350 per credit

    2. University of Maryland University College - $299 (in-state) & $499 (out-of-state)

    3. University of Minnesota - $440.47 per credit

    4. Private NFP: Southern New Hampshire University - $320 per credit

    5. Private NFP: Western Governors University - $2, 890 (per 6-month term)

    Nursing (RN to BSN)

    1. Fort Hays State University* –$213.33 per credit

    2. Lamar University* – $308 per credit

    3. University of Arkansas* - $290.94 per credit

    4. Sam Houston State University* - $403.75 per credit

    5. Private NFP: Western Governors University* - $3, 250 (per 6-month term)

    *Denote programs that hold CCNE or ACEN accreditation.
     
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  4. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    Psychology/Sociology/Interdisciplinary Studies/Behavior Analysis

    1. Fort Hays State University –$213.33 per credit

    2. University of Arkansas - $246.12 per credit

    3. Lamar University – $248 per credit

    4. Ball State University* - $300 (in-state) & $501 (out-of-state)

    5. University of Missouri - $376.20 per credit

    6. University of Louisiana Monroe - $400 per credit

    7. Sam Houston State University - $403.75 per credit

    8. Kansas State University - $433 per credit

    9. Private NFP: Keystone College - $425 per credit

    10. Private NFP: Adler Graduate School - $575 per credit

    *Denotes that the applied behavior analysis (ABA) program is BACB approved

    Social Work

    1. Private NFP: Briar Cliff University* - $399 per credit

    2. Private NFP: Brescia University* - $425 per credit

    *Denote programs that hold CSWE accreditation.

    Online Master’s Degree Programs

    Business

    1. Kennesaw State University* - $383 per credit

    2. Fort Hays State University – $400 per credit

    3. Lamar University* – $407.44 per credit

    4. Louisiana State University – Shreveport* - $415.80 per credit

    5. Southern Illinois University – Carbondale* - $460.40 per credit

    6. Sam Houston State University* - $478.25 per credit

    7. University of Louisiana Monroe - $500 per credit

    8. University of Arkansas* - $573.14 per credit

    9. Private NFP: Southern New Hampshire University - $627 per credit & $470 (military)

    10. Private NFP: Western Governors University - $3, 250 (per 6-month term)

    *Denotes programs that hold the prestigious AACSB accreditation.

    Counseling/Psychology/Marriage & Family Therapy/Behavior Analysis

    1. Lamar University* - $275 per credit

    2. Fort Hays State University – $280.73 per credit

    3. Ball State University*1 - $402 (in-state) & $602 (out-of-state)

    4. Adam State University* - $434 per credit

    5. University of Louisiana Monroe* - $500 per credit

    6. Private NFP: Southern New Hampshire University - $627 per credit & $470 (military)

    *Denotes counseling programs that hold CACREP accreditation.

    1Denotes that the applied behavior analysis (ABA) program is BACB approved

    Criminal Justice/Security Management

    1. Lamar University - $275 per credit

    2. Fort Hays State University –$280.73 per credit

    3. John Jay College of Criminal Justice - $440 per credit

    4. Southern Illinois University – Carbondale - $460 credit

    5. Sam Houston State University - $478.25 per credit

    6. University of Louisiana Monroe - $500 per credit

    Education

    1. Lamar University* - $275 per credit

    2. Fort Hays State University* –$280.73 per credit

    3. Louisiana State University* – Shreveport* - $373.44 per credit

    4. Sam Houston State University* - $478.25 per credit

    5. Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge)* - $481 per credit

    6. University of Louisiana Monroe* - $500 per credit

    7. Private NFP: Southern New Hampshire University - $627 per credit & $470 (military)

    8. Private NFP: Western Governors University - $2, 890 (per 6-month term)

    *Denotes programs that hold CAEP (NCATE or TEAC) accreditation.

    Engineering

    3. Kennesaw State University* - $383 per credit

    4. Southern Illinois University – Carbondale* - $460 credit

    *Denote programs that hold ABET accreditation.

    Information Technology/Cyber Security

    1. Colorado State University – Global Campus - $350 per credit

    2. University of Maryland University College - $299 (in-state) & $499 (out-of-state)

    3. California University of PA - $606 (in-state) & $628 (out-of-state)

    4. Private NFP: Southern New Hampshire University - $627 per credit & $470 (military)

    5. Private NFP: Western Governors University - $2, 890 (per 6-month term)

    Nursing (RN to BSN)

    1. Fort Hays State University –$280.73 per credit

    2. Lamar University – $358 per credit

    3. University of Arkansas - $560 credit

    4. California University of PA - $606 (in-state) & $628 (out-of-state)

    5. Private NFP: Southern New Hampshire University* - $627 per credit & $470 (military)

    6. Private NFP: Western Governors University* - $3, 250 (per 6-month term)

    *Denote programs that hold CCNE or ACEN accreditation.

    Public Administration

    1. University of Illinois Springfield* - $362.25 per credit

    2. University of Texas Arlington* - $425 per credit

    3. University of Baltimore* - $752 per credit

    4. University of Missouri* - $360 per credit

    5. Private NFP: Marist University* - $800 per credit

    *Denote programs that hold NASPAA accreditation.

    Social Work

    1. University of Missouri* - $360 per credit

    2. California State University, Long Beach* - $407 per credit

    3. University of Arkansas* - $420.19 per credit

    4. Boise State University* - $450 per credit

    5. Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge)* - $539 per credit

    6. Private NFP: Brescia University* - $600 per credit

    *Denote programs that hold CSWE accreditation.

    Online Doctoral Degree Programs

    Business (DBA)/Ph.D. Leadership & Management

    1. Private NFP: Johnson University - $575 per credit

    2. Private NFP: Wilmington University - $617 per credit

    3. Private NFP: Franklin University - $719 per credit

    4. Private NFP: Indiana Wesleyan University - $839 per credit

    5. Private NFP: St. Leo University - $900 per credit

    6. Private NFP: Eastern University - $960 per credit

    Counseling/Psychology

    1. Oregon State University* - $550 per credit

    *Denotes a counseling program that holds CACREP accreditation.

    Criminal Justice (D.CJ. and Ph.D.)

    1. California University of Pennsylvania* - $663 (in-state) & $993.60 (out-of-state)

    2. Nova Southeastern University - $1, 075 per credit

    *Cal U’s D.CJ. program only has 42 credits which mean the overall tuition is very affordable (under 27k for PA residents and just over 41k for non-PA residents).

    Education (Ed.S., Ed.D.)

    1. Fort Hays State University* –$280.73 per credit

    2. Sam Houston State University - $478.25 per credit

    3. University of Missouri - $486.49

    *Ed.S (educational specialist degree not a doctoral degree but above a master’s degree)

    Nursing (DNP, Ph.D.)

    1. Fort Hays State University –$400 per credit

    2. Ball State University - $402 (in-state) & $602 (out-of-state)

    3. University of Missouri - $444.60

    4. University of Texas Arlington - $550

    Public Administration (DPA)

    1. Valdosta State University - $293 per credit

    2. West Chester University of PA* - $851 (in-state) & $878 (out-of-state)

    *WCUPA’s DPA program only has 43 credits which means the overall tuition is very affordable (under 37k for PA residents and under 38k for non-PA residents).

    Social Work (DSW)

    1. The University of St. Thomas/St. Catherine University - $1, 131 per credit
     
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  5. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    A Crime Against Students: The Case Against For-Profit Online Education – Part 4

    My List of Recommended For-Profit Universities

    1. The American College of Education (ACE)

    I was enrolled at ACE for my doctorate in education before I withdrew. I completed my first course at a tuition rate of $306 per credit. ACE is one of the most affordable options for those seeking a master’s, educational specialist, or doctoral degree in education. They also recently introduced a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration. The only downside to ACE is that they choose not to participate in federal financial aid. They have partnered with Wells Fargo and Climb Credit to offer financing.

    Bachelor’s tuition - $215 per credit

    Master’s tuition - $235 per credit

    Ed. Specialist & Doctoral tuition - $306 per credit

    2. The American Public University System (APUS)

    The APUS consist of the American Military University (AMU) and the American Public University (APU). They offer affordable undergraduate and graduate degree tuition. They also recently introduced doctoral programs which I believe are expensively priced. AMU and APUS program offerings include business, criminal justice, education, national security, psychology, public administration among others.

    Bachelor’s tuition - $270 per credit

    Master’s tuition - $350 per credit

    Doctoral tuition (full 3-year): $60,054 (Global Security) and $50,054 (Strategic Intelligence)

    3. Grand Canyon University (GCU)

    GCU began originally as a non-profit university but in 2004 when the university was faced with financial struggles, it converted to for-profit. In 2016, GCU’s regional accreditation body, the Higher Learning Commission, rejected GCU’s petition to convert back to a non-profit institution. Nonetheless, GCU offers affordable online bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. Their degree offerings include business, criminal justice, psychology, education, theology, and counseling.

    Bachelor’s tuition - $470 per credit

    Master’s tuition - $500 per credit

    Doctoral tuition - $640 per credit

    4. California Southern University (Cal Southern)

    Cal Southern has always offered affordable tuition for their online programs. They were originally nationally accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission but obtained regional accreditation from WASC Senior Commission in 2015. Their degree offerings include business, psychology, law, and education. Graduates of Cal Southern’s Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) are eligible for licensure in California and graduated of Cal Southern’s online Juris Doctor (law degree) are eligible to sit the California Bar Exam. The only downside to Cal Southern is that they choose not to participate in federal financial aid. However, they do offer low monthly payment plans.

    Bachelor’s tuition - $375 per credit (except nursing which is $150/credit)

    Master’s tuition - $495 per credit

    Juris Doctor - $375 per credit

    Doctoral tuition - $495 per credit

    You will notice that I did not include Ashworth College on my list of recommended for-profit colleges. While Ashworth is an affordable option, it lacks regional accreditation and this can be problematic when you try to get certain jobs or further your education. Cheaper isn’t always better! Nonetheless, I value my Ashworth College undergraduate studies because it set the foundation for where I am today.
     
  6. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    Affordable Foreign Universities

    Africa Nazarene University (ANU)

    ANU is an American private Christian University based in Nairobi, Kenya. ANU has 5 campuses throughout Kenya and offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees online through their eNaz platform. Their tuition is dirt cheap.

    Assam Don Bosco University (ADBU)

    ADBU is an Indian state-private, Catholic university that is affiliated with the Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB). The SDB operates 16 universities, several colleges, technical institutes, elementary and high schools worldwide. ADBU’s online master’s tuition is dirt cheap and they offer flexible payment plans. I am a proud Bosconian #MBA

    University of Portsmouth

    Ports is a public university located in the city of Portsmouth in England. Ports offers bachelor’s, postgraduate certificates, postgraduate diplomas, and master’s online. Their affordable 4.5-year bachelor’s degree costs under $4, 000 USD per year (GBP 3080) and their 2-year master’s programs cost under $2, 800 per year (GBP 2, 100).

    University of South Africa (UNISA)

    UNISA is the largest university on the African continent. It offers diploma, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees through distance learning. Their tuition is dirt cheap with flexible payment options. UNISA is considered a mega university with over 300, 000 students from over 130 countries. UNISA degree offerings include business, education, counseling, history, psychology, sociology, social work, theology among others.

    As I stated in my first article, not all for-profit schools are bad. However, the majority charges exorbitant tuition fees which will leave students will massive student debts. Most for-profit schools are not included in the U.S. News rankings of colleges and universities. In addition, employers will not view for-profit college degrees as prestigious so why accumulate thousands of dollars in debt? All four for-profit colleges that I recommended in this article offer affordable tuition. Their tuition costs are nothing compared to Capella, Walden, Argosy, Kaplan, the University of Phoenix, and the University of Rockies to name a few. If you must take on a heavy student debt, which I strongly discourage, do so at a well-known public or nonprofit college. At least employers will be familiar with these schools and their reputation.
     
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  7. Mac Juli

    Mac Juli Active Member

    While you did a great job doing all this work, I would nevertheless point out that the National Open University of Nigeria is even bigger - according to wikipedia, they got 515,000 students.
    And they do a great job in providing learning ressources for free on their website!! You may want to have a look, it's worth it: https://nou.edu.ng/
     
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  8. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for pointing that out. I wrote this back in 2016/17. By some estimations, UNISA is considered the largest. According to Times Higher Education:

    "It is the largest open distance learning institution in Africa and the oldest dedicated distance education university in the world."

    https://www.timeshighereducation.com/world-university-rankings/university-south-africa
     
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  9. Mac Juli

    Mac Juli Active Member

    Oh, I see! - This statement seems however to be not accurate if you consider wikipedias figures to be correct. Well. never mind, both universities have their merits and your posting all the more.
     
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  10. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Do they ever! Complete PDF course manuals - free download. How good can it get for no money?
     
  11. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I had to call a plumber the other day. He did a good job. But guess what? His plumbing business was for profit! Who knew? Same with the window coverings firm I'm considering. I've looked at several, but none are not-for-profit. What gives? Same with every single restaurant I considered for take-out at lunch today. It's a crying shame.

    For-profit schools aren't inherently bad. Many operate just fine with the normal number of complaints from disgruntled students. Having worked for one (for a year) and taught for it as an adjunct for two more, I can safely say there are two areas of concern about for-profit schools. First, high-pressure sales tactics to entice people to enroll. Second, the operation's ultimate responsibility is to its owners/shareholders, not other stakeholders like the community, the students, etc. That said, these are root causes that sometimes bring out bad behavior. They're not bad in and of themselves.

    Look for what schools do, not their income tax status.
     
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  12. sideman

    sideman Active Member

    The slant of your articles seem to be towards the younger student (20's to 30's). So I understand why you concentrated on RA non-profits. But let's not short shrift the older learners that either want to finish an incomplete degree or qualify for a new career that doesn't necessarily require RA credentials. This is where the reputable and cheap for profit can fill the gap. Ashworth (now owned by Penn Foster--What a concept! They bought out their competitor) as you said gave you the foundation to achieve your advanced education goals. But there are some (many?) that simply have that associates or bachelors as their terminal degree goals and hey, to them, it's a damn fine accomplishment.
     
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  13. heirophant

    heirophant Well-Known Member

    I don't like the choice of target - "For-Profit Online Education". In my opinion that's a red-herring tossed around the academic left that was amplified and weaponized during the Obama administration.


    Except the real (usually unstated) complaint here isn't that "for profit" higher education is a "crime against students" (what criminal law was violated?) but rather that running education as a business, making money (not theft) by providing a service to a market that desires that service and freely chooses to purchase the service, was perceived (whether correctly or not) as a threat to professors' and university administrators' cushy perks. The militancy against "for-profits" isn't coming from students so much as from "education professionals" as a labor issue. Professors are incensed by the disappearance of tenure (I applaud the end of tenure) and by the increasing use of poorly qualified casual-labor adjuncts (I loathe over-reliance on adjuncts simply from the student perspective).

    True. The coronavirus crisis is probably going to dramatically accelerate it.

    Perhaps closer to 100% in 2020, though for unanticipated reasons.

    So why the preamble talking about online education? Online doesn't equate to for-profit, as much as some academic labor activists want to collapse that distinction.

    I think that it's probably a rhetorical error to signal your bias ("crime against students", "predatory for-profit") so early in your argument, unless your intention is merely preach to the choir. If you hope to appeal to those (including me) who might like the idea of an educational market place welcoming educational entrepreneurship and operating according to the same principles as the rest of the marketplace, you shouldn't start out your screed by insulting us.

    I'm not convinced that the opinions of one activist/sociologist constitutes proof of, or even evidence for, your favored conclusion. Ms. Cottom is very outspoken about many things, some of them not-so-faintly crazy in my opinion.

    If a white male like myself spoke of women or non-whites as inferior, we would be accused of sexism/racism. Yet here is Ms. Cottom (herself black) referring to women and racial "minorities" condescendingly as "the most vulnerable", those in her opinion least able to make intelligent life decisions for themselves, those most in need of protection by some overarching government power. (Always imagined as benevolent in these fantasies, a supportive father/husband surrogate without any of the annoying bits.)

    That's probably going to be true at any post-secondary educational institution that enrolls students from low income backgrounds. Community colleges aren't really much different, except that much of the social cost there is transferred from students to the taxpayers that are expected to fund them.

    So 1,999,999 is ok? I think that you meant to say that even one student is too many. Which is a proposition that in my opinion needs a lot more argument than you've given it. I think that for-profit schools work well for many students. It's true that many/most of them are over-priced, but if it's what the market will bear, then it's what the market will bear.

    Then instead of unloading both barrels at "for-profit schools" you need to refocus your rhetoric more precisely at what makes a "bad" school bad (in your opinion). It's my guess that many "non-profit" (except to faculty and administrators, who certainly profit not only financially but in terms of social prestige as well) might fail the same sorts of tests.

    Community colleges probably will. Hbcus will, if "preying on the most vulnerable" becomes a criterion and if being black becomes a mark of vulnerability.

    My opinion is that if 'for-profit' education is over-priced, that's because so many students are willing to pay the price. (And that probably has something to do with the availability of easy student loans). The solution is probably to make students painfully aware that student loans aren't just "free money", that there's tangible benefit to them in keeping their debt down, and that lower cost educational alternatives exist. (Toothpaste doesn't move out of the tube until you squeeze the tube.) Let the education market-place operate as it does when any new product is overpriced. Personal computers once cost thousands of dollars, today they cost hundreds and are infinitely better. Wait for lower cost alternatives to appear to provide some competition and take market share. (Remember those old supply-demand charts from econ class?)

    Of course personal computers used to be manufactured by high-paid workers in Silicon Valley, now they are manufactured by Chinese sweat-shops. It's the spectre of that happening to university professors, of a tenured faculty member being replaced by somebody working for peanuts in Mumbai, that is causing so much militancy and angst in the profession, aimed precisely at excluding market forces from higher education. It's probably why "online" is so often collapsed together with "for-profit". And it's why your "affordable foreign universities" aren't going to be welcome with those who are so militant against "for-profit" higher education.

    And as an American economic and cultural nationalist, I do have some sympathy for the professors. Scholarship is a vital industry and does deserve some thought as to its protection, promotion and preservation. Although it's hard to imagine a more cossetted (and self-satisfied) profession than university professor. So my feelings are decidedly mixed.
     
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  14. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    Fraud is a crime. A lot of these schools have misled students and have been fined. Do your research!
     
  15. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Yes, the influx of easy money into a market tends to drive up prices because it enables greater demand. We saw this in the 2008 housing bubble. But....

    There is also a huge imbalance of information between schools and their potential customers. This tends to skew prices higher as well. We still see this in home-buying and in car sales, although in both cases it has been mitigated a bit with the availability of more information on line.

    Finally, there is the seismic shift that occurred in the workplace when we saw a huge move away from defined benefit retirement plans towards defined contribution plans. This didn't just let employers off the hook for funding pensions, it also made employees more mobile. This, in turn, caused employers to become reticent to invest in employees' development--if they were just going to leave anyway. Their ROI on human development diminished. This caused employees who wanted to be mobile to rush towards more and more credentials that would be recognized across the board. This degree inflation--what Hapgood in 1971 called "diplomaism"--coupled with the intense increase in degree availability via nontraditional means, meant workers could (and needed to) take more and more degrees. This huge increase in demand drove up prices as well.

    In other words, it's more complex than any one factor.
     
  16. GTFLETCH

    GTFLETCH Member

    Great Info
     
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  17. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    You're not going to believe this...

    I just learned the my dentist is also for-profit. It gets worse...

    My veterinarian, my kids' pediatrician and even my primary care physician? All for-profit! Even the optometrist who sold me my glasses and did my eye exam is for-profit!

    I guess I'll just have to go to the local hospital for literally every medical concern to escape the tyranny of these capitalist monsters.

    My biggest issue with these sensational articles, even when I like the author and no matter how well researched, is that it necessitates quite a bit of cherry picking.

    I see a nice list of private non-profit and public school tuitions. And if we put Phoenix up against those I bet they wouldn't compare. Pray-tell, how would American College of Education stand up? Or APUS?

    How do the graduation rates look when we compare against community colleges where people notoriously float in and out and don't necessarily graduate with the same regularity of those enrolled full time in a four year school?

    There are good for-profit schools. There are bad not-for-profit schools. One of the worst which is thrown around on this board as if they are somehow anything other than the toilet bowl they are is Touro. Touro is an absolute joke throughout this state. They have a fourth tier law school which is best known for radio ads and admitting practically anyone as well as leaving students with the highest student loan debt of any law school in the region but with the fewest prospects for employment.

    That isn't a crime against students? Saddle them with $200k in debt for a law degree that, at best, will get them a job making $50k if they're lucky for a government agency since no self respecting law firm will hire them? All because they have a little donate button on their website? Come on now.

    CTU isn't the greatest thing since sliced bread. There are definitely cheaper options out there. But for me, at the time I earned my degree, it was the cheapest and most accessible. I paid very little out of pocket because my GI Bill picked up the tab. The majority of my student loans were for the two years I spent at Scranton with only a fraction attributable to CTU and none for UMT (or my second go around at Scranton but that's because my employer picked it up. There is no way I would have been able to self-fund Scranton and I wasn't taking on debt for it).

    As Rich says, high pressure sales tactics are a problem. I had to block AIU years ago, before they were put on probation, because they were not only highly insistent that I enroll TODAY but when I, then a freshly minted sailor at A School in Mississippi, told them I needed a day or two to find and gain access to a fax machine so I could sign any forms they wanted, they told me I wasn't serious about making a future for myself and told me that my attitude was setting me up for failure. I walked away and I'm glad I did. Flip side, of course, is that SNHU is non-profit and every bit as pushy.
     
  18. felderga

    felderga Member

    Being a Public Health advocate and with the current COVID-19 you should also includue CEPH.
     
    chrisjm18 likes this.
  19. GTFLETCH

    GTFLETCH Member

    I agree with most everything you and Rich have posted. I do think there is a prestigious difference in non-profit universities and colleges world (Touro law is looked as less then Syracuse law school is...also an Ivy League education is looked at as the best in the land on and on...)

    However the issues with For-Profits in my mind is:

    1. Research has shown their For-profit graduates can expect lower lifetime earnings
    2. % of For-profit schools closing compared to Non-Profit schools (leaving students high & dry)
    3. For-profit schools have poorer outcomes than other institutions. They show lower six-year graduation rates than other universities
    4. For-profit alumni are more likely to default on their student loans
    5. For-profit colleges are tasked with bringing in money unlike nonprofits colleges. Causes the following issues:
    --------For-profits have been caught failing to distrubute millions of dollars in fedral aid to students.
    --------For-profits have been caught advertising bogus job placement rates to recruit students
    --------For-profits have used copycat websites army.com and navyenlist.com falsely claiming to be affiliated with the military in order to generate sales leads for post-secondary schools.


    link
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/education/2019/03/26/for-profit-college-closing-argosy-university/3271813002/

    Link
    https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2018/09/ftc-takes-action-against-operators-copycat-military-websites?utm_source=govdelivery
     
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  20. GTFLETCH

    GTFLETCH Member

    Speaking of For-profits & Touro.... To understand how bad the For-profit model in higher education really is, we can look to Trident at AIU (formerly Trident University International, TUIU as For Profit and Touro University International as a non- profit)

    Touro University International 1998-2007 operated as a non profit, within the Touro College and University System from 1998 to 2007. It was then sold to Summit Partners and became a stand-alone, for-profit university, currently known as Trident at AIU. During its nine years of operation within the Touro System, TUI generated more than $270 million dollars in net earnings and had zero investigations and controversies. Once sold and reorg'd to for-profit status it only took four years (by 2011) to have major investigations and controversies that ultimately led to another sale in 2020 to Career Education Corp and a merger under American Intercontinental University. Meanwhile Touro College and University System started up another non-profit online division in 2008 to replace the gap left from the sale of Touro University International (Touro University Worldwide) and they have not had any major investigations and controversies during the same time that the For-profit Trident at AIU has had.

    What does this tell me? For-profits care more about money than educating their students while non profits care more about educating students than making a profit! Thus this is why you see more for-profits in the news for lawsuits, violations, unethical recruitment of students.

    link
    https://universitybusiness.com/how-to-build-a-thriving-online-enterprise-within-a-private-nonprofit-university/

    link
    https://www.chronicle.com/article/Touro-College-Sells-Online/39863
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2020

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