The Brookings Institution published a report this week calling attention to the for-profit college system's enormous abuses. "For-profit colleges have a long history of engaging in manipulative behavior to preserve the flow of [federal money] to their schools while providing their students with a poor education," authorsAirel Gelrud Shiro and Richard Reeves wrote.
In this report (and in an earlier paper released last November), Brookings researchers ticked off a litany of problems in the for-profit college industry:
- The for-profits only enroll 10 percent of postsecondary students, "but they account for half of all student-loan defaults."
- For profit-schools are about four times more expensive than community colleges.
- Black and Latino are overrepresented in this expensive college sector. Although they make up less than a third of all college students, "they represent nearly half of all who attend for-profit colleges."
- Black students who take out student loans to attend a for-profit have very high default rates. "Almost 60 percent of Black students who took on student debt to attend a for-profit school in 2004 defaulted on their loans by 2016 . . ."
- Research suggests a for-profit college education may be no better than no college at all. "Students may even incur net losses from for-profit attendance when debt is factored in."