Liberal activists: For-profit colleges ‘ripping off’ students, taxpayers

“There’s overwhelming evidence that [for-profit colleges] are abusing taxpayer money with high-priced, low-quality programs that leave many students deep in debt, their lives nearly ruined,” said David Halperin, director of Campus Progress.

A brief video preceding Halperin’s speech highlighted Campus Progress’s key interests, particularly advocating for affordable education.

“America can’t afford another sub-prime debt crisis. That’s why leading nonprofit and consumer groups want to curb the worst of for-profit colleges, like deceptive recruiting, fraudulent reporting, high prices, and dismal job placement,” a female voice intoned on the video.

The video also included a clip from the Fox Business Show “The Willis Report,” on which Halperin was a guest on June 3. Host Gerry Willis asked, “It looks like these for-profit colleges, they’re really ripping off the taxpayer.  What’s going on here?”

“They’re ripping off the taxpayer, but even worse, they’re ripping off students and ruining their lives,” Halperin answered.

In the full video, Willis goes on to share ED statistics: For-profit school students make up 10 percent of total higher education students and receive 20 percent of federal aid.

These students are responsible for 46 percent of loan defaults.

Referencing these statistics both in the video and in his speech, Halperin accused for-profit schools of failing to help graduates find jobs and charging excessively high tuition so that students are saddled with debt long after graduation.

Halperin called for-profit colleges “yet another example of cynical power” wielded by “corporate interests.” Campus Progress had previously scrutinized defenders of for-profit colleges, such as Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY), for financial ties to for-profit institutions.

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