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

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

  1. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    Here's my issue with these things...

    Really? So a nurse with an MSN from the University of Phoenix can expect lower lifetime earnings? What if we compare the lifetime earnings to what they were earning pre-MSN? And are the non-profit MSN grads actually making substantially more?

    Program matters. Industry matters.

    And a good portion of that is attributable to enforced regulatory activity around for-profits. I guarantee that if all of the rules around for-profits were applied equally, we'd see some very financially unstable non-profits shutting down at an alarming rate.

    Beyond that, I wouldn't say "high and dry." When an accredited school closes the state arranges for other schools in-state to take those students in and relax their credit transfer policies in the process.

    For-profit schools, like community colleges, accept almost everyone. Many non-profit schools can be picky.

    If I have a basketball team where everyone is allowed to join but you have a basketball team where you can pick and choose the players, who is likely to have a more competitive team in the marketplace?

    Non-profit schools are recruiting eager high school students and can pick and choose. For-profits are often focused on working adults who drift in and out or may have their goals change as their career evolves etc.

    Yes, because most non-profit alumni entered straight out of high school and their parents had to co-sign their loans in much larger numbers than for-profit which, again, appeal to working adults.

    Before I get into your list...take a look at any school with a robust athletics program and say that again with a straight face, please. You have schools built entirely around athletics, generating gobs of money to pay seven figure salaries to athletic directors and coaches. And the schools STILL charge students "athletic facility" fees to pay for their brand new stadium.
    And these are bad and should be dealt with. Not every for-profit is doing this, of course. And there are non-profits out there manipulating alumni salary data to look better (I personally know of one and no one ever did anything about it).

    I don't say all of this to be a big for-profit defender. It's just that in most cases these schools fill a very different niche than four year non-profit schools. But more importantly, there is a very big difference between Corinthian and Grand Canyon. There is a big difference between APUS and Phoenix. And there are, as I've said, non-profit schools who are engaged in unethical conduct. Can you imagine if Phoenix was revealed to be manipulating grades the way UNC was for its athletes? Can you imagine if Capella sold admission to a completely unqualified student for cash like USC did? What if APUS harbored a pedophile like Penn State?

    No one ever seriously considered that these scandals would close those schools. No one even considered that those schools would realistically lose their accreditation. But the fact is, had they been for-profits, that would have been exactly what people were calling for.

    GTFLETCH Member

    You make some really good points.
  3. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member


    To reiterate, I'm not trying to come out as a defender of for-profit education. I'm not really a defender of ANY institution, to be honest. It's just that, for me, there are people who really and truly will not be satisfied until they break some stuff.

    People objected to Keiser being for-profit. So they became a non-profit. Then people threw a fit because they felt they weren't "really" a non-profit.

    Corinthian was evil and the death of all good things. Everest College became the poster child for the problems of for profit education. Then Corinthian fell and Everest and the whole portfolio was taken over by a non-profit which, oddly enough, consisted of the same people who ran it as a for-profit. Now, all of the misdeeds are Everest are deemed to have been in the past.

    I also see schools like SNHU using its non-profit status as a marketing tool.

    It started out that "online" schools were substandard. Then when more mainstream schools went online, we had to do away with that notion. So we shifted to "for-profits are substandard!" Now we're having to come face to face with the fact that not all of them are nationally accredited. Not all of them are overpriced. Not all of them have disastrous outcomes.

    At the end of the day, while there may be some bad for-profit CJ or Business programs out there, there are probably also bad non-profit or public CJ or business programs out there as well. We should be evaluating the schools individually rather than as a class. Because that's how we evaluate every other school. Consistency and objectivity is really all I'm after.
    GTFLETCH and SteveFoerster like this.
  4. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I think Neuhaus is implying that these things are more complicated and less subject to blanket one-size-fits-all statements.
    GTFLETCH likes this.
  5. monchevy

    monchevy New Member

    Agreed. APUS may be a for-profit, but at $285 per credit hour, it can hardly be considered predatory and overpriced. It's also legitimately accredited.
    chrisjm18 likes this.
  6. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    Very interesting!


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