States say ‘ENOUGH’ to for-profits

Bulldozed with horror stories, states are working to protect college students as consumers

profits-states-loansWhen Murray Hastie returned to New York in January 2006 after two tours of duty in Iraq, he hoped to use the GI Bill to complete his college education.

Denied admission to two state colleges, Hastie came upon DeVry University. The day after he filled out an online request for information, a representative from the for-profit university visited him at his home and encouraged him to enroll in a biomedical informatics program in New Jersey.

DeVry said he would receive in-state tuition and that his GI benefits would cover all of his educational costs, and helped him apply for loans, Hastie said.…Read More

How to battle the dark side of for-profit universities

States need to work together, develop new battle plan to combat what some say are the evils of for-profit colleges and universities

battle-for-profit-statesWhen Hannah Benbow ran into problems with the for-profit college she attended, she turned to the federal government for help.

Benbow, 24, wrote to the U.S. Department of Education when the Art Institute of Washington in Arlington, Va.—one of more than 50 for-profit Art Institute campuses across the country—told her unexpectedly that she would need to apply for yet another student loan, on top of the nearly $120,000 she’d already borrowed, to cover $7,000 in fees she said were not disclosed to her before she signed up.

“Since my parents and family have already co-signed my other ridiculous amount of loans, they were denied on this one,” Benbow wrote in her letter to the agency, whose responsibilities include regulating higher education.…Read More

ED rulemaking includes input on controversial ‘gainful employment’ rules

The Obama administration has seen legal setbacks in its push for gainful employment rules.

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) will kick off a new round of public hearings on the oft-discussed “gainful employment” regulations, which the for-profit college industry has successfully fought in ongoing legal battles.

ED announced April 15 that it would launch a series of rulemaking proceedings covering a number of higher education issues, including the rules pushed by the Obama administration that would have prevented career-training programs, mainly at for-profit colleges – many with expansive online programs — from leaving students with unaffordable debt and limited employment options.

The rules were first proposed by the administration in 2009 after growing evidence and congressional inquiries showed that as the for-profit college sector grew – bolstered by the easy access of web-based courses – completion rates remained dismally low at some schools and students proved unprepared for the workforce.…Read More