"Time to Shut Down All For-profit Institutions"

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Gabe F., Sep 1, 2017.

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  1. Gabe F.

    Gabe F. Member

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    https://www.insidehighered.com/digital-learning/views/2017/08/30/bob-ubell-says-its-time-shut-down-profit-institutions

    Author
    Robert Ubell
    Vice Dean Emeritus of Online Learning at NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering.

    This article goes for the jugular in the opening paragraph:

     
  2. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

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    Says the guy whose school charges over $70,000 per year for undergraduate tuition and fees. :rolleyes:
     
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  3. Phdtobe

    Phdtobe Member

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    TV preacher i.e joel osteen.
     
  4. Johann

    Johann Active Member

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    I loathe and despise TV preachers - they don't merit an emotion as fine and noble as true hatred. But still, it's not the same.

    A TV preacher is just a parasite - not a fierce animal. You send him a bit of money - maybe $20, Maybe $50 -- even more, if you have it. You don't borrow money to send to a preacher. If you do, you're stupid - and there's no cure for that! The preacher sends you nothing -- or maybe one of his worthless books or CDs. That's it. Learn and move on.

    An unscrupulous school ropes in its prey and charges $20 - $30 - $40 thousand or more. The willing victim borrows the cost -and if he/she sticks it out, gets a degree of dubious value and probably no job. The victim hasn't had a little blood sucked out, as a tick might do -or a preacher. He/she has been totally destroyed.

    There are degrees of evil. And not all for-profits are evil; leave the good ones. Preachers? Well, I don't know...

    J.
     
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  5. decimon

    decimon Active Member

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    Heaven forbid that people have choices. If there is fraud involved with any school then prosecute the fraud.
     
  6. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina New Member

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    Simple solution: Have ALL programs at ALL colleges and universities (regardless of tax status) follow the "gainful employment" rules and see which ones shut down.
     
  7. Phdtobe

    Phdtobe Member

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    I think the solution is even simpler. For-profits should not be eligible for government back student loans. They should be another loan poll with for-profits backing. Therefore, there is matching of the revenues earned by for profits with the potential loss on the students loans that drive the revenue.
    The current system is that the revenues are earned by for-profits, the loans are borne by the students, and the losses are covered by taxpayers - sweet!
     
  8. bceagles

    bceagles Member

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    I want to agree with the idea that the for profit model needs to go away, but I have to believe that they are not all "bad".

    On one hand we have:
    DeVry / Keller seems to have a decent reputation within some of their programs. Not to say they don't have their problems, but it appears that you leave some of their programs with marketable skills.

    On another hand we have:
    UoP which appears to have a questionable reputation that they are unable to improve upon.


    In the past, I've heard the case made about the for profits as providing access to programs to student who don't have access to public institutions. For profits were supposedly filingl a gap / need.

    Are there other for profit success stories?

    Do for profits provide access to student who can't get into more traditional programs?
     
  9. Gabe F.

    Gabe F. Member

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    While I agree with the sentiment that not all for-profits are bad, DeVry is not the best example. Less than a year ago, they paid out more than $100 in settlements over misleading ads (and that's not the only trouble they've had):

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2017/01/31/devry-reaches-275m-settlement/97284248/
     
  10. Gabe F.

    Gabe F. Member

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    I agree with the sentiment, but it never seems to go that way in practice. IF so, the University of Phoenix and a few others should not exist. The fact that Phoenix still exists is a testament to the systematic failure of both government and the Higher Learning Commission. On that note, I've always been amazed at how the largest for-profit providers all fall under HLC's purview: Phoenix, DeVry, CareerEd, Northcentral, Ashford, etc. Needless to say, I don't think that's a coincidence.
     
  11. Gabe F.

    Gabe F. Member

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    NYIT's Bursar's website says the tuition and fees are $34,600 broken down by $17,300 for Fall 2017 and $17,300 for Spring 2018. It's not $34,600 per semester (although their tuition is higher than the average based on their College Scorecard data).

    Taking it a step further, NYIT graduates have pretty good outcomes including annual salaries that are much higher than average: $50.3k vs $33,500. In addition, NYIT students graduate with less debt than University of Phoenix grads (although this is somewhat debatable I know since Phoenix has mostly transfer students many of which have attended several other schools) and certainly a far better reputation.
     
  12. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

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    The solution is even simpler than that: there shouldn't be government-backed student loans at all. They create an artificial ocean of money that tuition rates rise to soak up, and not just at for-profits.
     
  13. Phdtobe

    Phdtobe Member

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    I am in agreement, education should be free at public universities. However if there are gov loans for public universities then for-profit should not have access to it. Afterall the whole reason for-profits is that they can deliver quality education much better than government universities so they should have confidence in financing their product in the market.
     
  14. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

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    That's interesting, but the author was affiliated with New York University, not NYIT.

    NYU's undergrad tuition is over $70K per year.

    New York University Tuition, Costs and Financial Aid - CollegeData College Profile
     
  15. Gabe F.

    Gabe F. Member

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  16. me again

    me again Active Member

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    Who pays for "free" [sic] tuition?

    Phdtobe, when you say "free" [sic] tuition should be provided to everyone, do you really mean that taxpayers should pay for it?

    California previously provided "free" [sic] tuition at all community colleges, until it became too expensive of a burden on taxpayers, so California began charging tuition.

    What else should the government provide for "free" [sic]? Should government also provide a "free income subsistence subsidy" for everyone?

    SOCIALISTIC CIRCULAR LOGIC:
    1. In communism, taxpayers are the end-all-be-all for "free" [sic] government handouts-for-all.
    2. In communism, the government claims to be the provider when, in actuality, true wealth comes from the entrepreneurial ingenuity of capitalists and laborers (taxpayers) who then surrender their wealth to the socialist-government for redistribution of "free" [sic] governmental handouts.
    3. Government cannot crate wealth.
    4. Government can only provide fertile circumstances for entrepreneurs to harvest capitalistic opportunities.
    5. Government always takes, while capitalistic entrepreneurs always give:
    (a) Government = Takes from taxpayers (good to a limited degree).
    (b) Capitalistic entrepreneurs = Takes from economic opportunities and then gives to receive.

    Again, when you say "free" [sic] tuition should be provided to everyone, do you really mean that taxpayers should pay for it, courtesy of the government?
     
  17. Stanislav

    Stanislav Active Member

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    Obviously.

    Also, most of Europe provides free (taxpayer-paid) tuition at public universities (which are where wast majority study). In Britain, tuition is not free, but highly subsidized and quite affordable. In this environment, even for profit tuition (like say BPP University) is less than in US.

    Sure, you probably don't hold a passport and do not read anything about other nations. But consider how accepted free secondary ed is in US, and how it was not always like this. It's funny how you pretend that government-paid education (which is a public as well as private good, btw) is some radical idea, where in reality it is almost universally accepted.

    Funny you would say that, because this is called "basic income", and this policy idea has serious arguments going for it, as means to end poverty and mitigate effects of technology-driven labor disruption. Self-driving cars seem to be on the verge of viability; how many people work in transportation in US? I'm not calling for basic income now, and I'm not sure it's actually viable (in particular, in US), but this is not crazy talk.

    And, btw, this is not "communism" mate. Your understanding of that term is severely lacking.

    1. No, my sweet me again. Communism is the disappearance of state, money, and other means of oppression in condition of material abundance. Of course, no one saw this beast in the wild, and alleged attempts to get there failed miserably. Still.
    2. In socialism (not communism), government derives income to distribute because it owns means of production. In effect, it is the only capitalist. There are no "taxpayers", and "enterpreneural ingenuity" in one-party socialist states is outlawed.
    3-4. Of course it can create wealth. Interstate highway system, Hoover dam, and the Internet are a few examples. An argument for capitalism is that the government is worse at creating wealth than the government is. In most cases, this is correct (illustration: US vs. North Korea).
    5. Bwahahaha! There are many examples of business with net negative social contribution (see Trump University for one example). There are many examples of governmental debacles and worse, of course.

    What do they teach you in school these days, I wonder?
     
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  18. Lerner

    Lerner Active Member

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    There is nothing wrong with the concept of private for profit education.
    In a free society and democracy, people can have a choice, ability etc.

    Education is also a business in the USA.
    The issue is quality assurance and public/consumer protection including the funds of tax payers. Abuse of the system and greed is what led some for-profit providers downfall.
    So as long as there is valid QA and Consumer protection the for profits can have their nitch.
    People do tutoring for profit, once a kid brings their first-grade report home.
    To remain relevant in this society and technological advancement, the changes in education delivery the for profits have to offer something exceptional or flexibility that public, or private non-profits currently not offering.
    Obviously not by deception in advertising or lying about the outcomes.
     
  19. heirophant

    heirophant Member

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    I'm not impressed by the coherence of Mr. Ubell's opinion piece. He begins by writing:

    "In the wild, predators often prey on the weak, attacking the young, sick and injured. In online education, for-profit universities also go after the most vulnerable... "

    I expected to hear David Attenborough narrating that: "The male for-profit begins to circle its prey..."

    The implicit assumption that makes Ubell's whole argument circular is just inserted in there without argument, that "for-profits" are "preying", "attacking" and "going after" the "weak". Why shouldn't we say that they are "serving" and "providing educational opportunities to" an arguably under-served segment of students?

    Further down the page, Ubell writes (the highlighting is by me):

    A Brookings Institution report claims that the student loan crisis in the U.S. "is largely concentrated among nontraditional borrowers attending for-profit schools and other non-selective institutions, who have relatively weak educational outcomes and difficulty finding jobs after starting to repay their loans.

    So right there, the whole argument seems to lose its focus.

    Is the significant variable here the capitalism/socialism distinction? Or is it the nature of the student population?

    Do we really want to conclude that less capable students shouldn't be served, that they shouldn't have educational opportunities, and that the kind of schools that give them educational opportunities should be "shut down"? NYU, with its stiff admissions requirements for many programs and its sky-high tuition wouldn't be touched by that. It serves a relative elite and just ignores the student population that all those ACICS programs once served.

    (Amazing how people pose as being the ones helping these students, as their little anti-capitalism jihad forces the students' schools and programs to close causing the students to come away with nothing but debt. But that's not the educators' fault, it's the fault of capitalism and (spit the word out) profit.)

    If we really want to go this way, where does this leave community colleges, HBCU's and some of the low-end state universities that serve less traditional student populations? I'd expect to see high dropout rates, lower job placement rates and higher loan default rates at many of these schools too. It's just that community colleges and public universities essentially subsidize their students, so that there's often less loan indebtedness. Then they pass the costs that they've absorbed on to the public.

    Interestingly, NYU generates 55% of its revenue from tuition and another 10% from student housing and dining. Where does all that money go? 56% to salaries and fringe benefits. 5% to professional services. So NYU can be said to be a giant engine designed to transfer money from students pockets to professors' and administrators' better tailored pockets.

    https://www.nyu.edu/about/news-publications/budget/operating-budget-charts.html

    And when it comes to the supposed evils of for-profits' crude and crass monetary motivations, just imagine the howling and shrieking if somebody proposed that all university administrators and tenured full-time university professors accept a 20% cut in pay and benefits. You would hear the cacophony as far away as the Moon. So our wonderful socialist academics certainly aren't monastics living on one bowl of rice a day and donating their educational labors for the good of mankind. Like the Force, the profit-motive is strong in each of them.
     
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  20. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

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    I actually agree with your overall point, but unless you want to undermine yourself by being a jerk, [sic] should be used for actual language mistakes, not as a means of ideological commentary.
     

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