For-profit colleges slow in response to prospective students

Some schools respond to prospective student eMails in minutes.

For an industry known for its aggressive student recruitment techniques, many private, for-profit colleges take as long as 12 hours to return a prospective student’s phone call—and two days to respond to eMail inquiries from potential students.

Four in 10 for-profit schools don’t respond to student phone calls within a day, and seven in 10 schools have a same-day eMail response, according to a white paper released this week by Leads360, a California-based company that sells enrollment management technology.

In the survey of 28 for-profit colleges—including well-known schools like Grand Canyon University (GCU) and American Public University (APU)—“none showed consistent across-the-board success that would maximize their chances of enrolling the highest number of qualified prospects,” the white paper says.…Read More

Opinion: New ‘gainful employment’ regulation is weak medicine for a strong ailment

Jose Cruz of The Education Trust says for-profit colleges still will face scrutiny from states attorneys.

The gainful employment regulation recently announced by the U.S. Department of Education is painfully weak, especially when compared with the colossal and well-documented abuses committed by for-profit career colleges.

Under the new regulation, a career education program will need to fail all three of the following very forgiving standards for three out of four years before it can be declared ineligible for federal subsidies.

Read more about for-profit regulations in higher education……Read More

Are new ED rules an ‘unconditional surrender’ to for-profit colleges?

Duncan has helped shape for-profit regulations since 2009.

Some of the country’s largest online education programs will have to comply with federal regulations far less stringent than once thought after the U.S. Education Department (ED) unveiled its new rules for for-profit institutions that have come under fire for unscrupulous business practices.

The long-awaited rules aimed at for-profit schools such as the University of Phoenix and Kaplan University—first discussed in 2009—were released June 1. The regulations are meant to ensure that students aren’t graduating from for-profit colleges unqualified for the professional world and burdened with excessive student loan debt.

One-fourth of for-profit students default on their loans after three years, for-profit students account for almost half of all federal loan defaults, and graduation rates at those schools hover around 50 percent, according to national education statistics.…Read More

For-profit colleges concede defeat on new rules, vow to fight on

Miller lauded bipartisan support for a provision that would defund for-profit rules.

Efforts by lobbyists from for-profit colleges – including some of the largest online education programs – fell short last week when Congress passed a compromise budget bill that would allow the Education Department (ED) to move ahead with its long-awaited “gainful employment” regulations.

In an April 11 statement, Harris Miller, president of the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities (APSCU), said the group’s last-ditch try to get the House and Senate to include a provision that would de-fund ED’s for-profit rulemaking was not included in the final budget that will fund the federal government through September.

APSCU asked its members to call their Congressional representatives as the final budget was being finalized, not conceding defeat on the for-profit regulations – known as “gainful employment” rules — until the bill became law.…Read More