Prospective students who are considering nonprofit schools–whether public or private–and institutions such as University of Phoenix and DeVry University that operate as for-profit businesses may be discouraged from enrolling at the latter type of schools, according to a recent study from the Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment at Teachers College, Columbia University, U.S. News reports.  The report–titled “The For-Profit Postsecondary School Sector: Nimble Critters or Agile Predators”–suggests that alumni of for-profit colleges tend to get lower salaries and are less enthusiastic about their degrees six months after enrolling than are their peers at nonprofit schools.

“I think one of the messages of the paper is that there’s a lot more variation in for-profit colleges. It’s more of a ‘buyer beware’ kind of sector than community colleges,” says David Deming, a coauthor of the report and assistant professor of education and economics at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. “There are schools that are doing really well, and there are schools that have shockingly high rates of loan default.”

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