Daily Archives: August 13, 2012

Navy Times: Senate report slams major for-profit schools

The Navy Times publishes an article highlighting the Harkin report on for-profit schools:

A Senate committee released a blistering 5,194-page report on Monday detailing its findings from a two-year investigation of the for-profit education industry, including its use and abuse of Post-9/11 GI Bill and military tuition assistance funding.


While Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, head of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, stressed that the investigation found responsible for-profit schools, the overall report stresses many education companies’ alleged unethical recruitment practices, low graduation rates, high student debt default rates and higher-than-average tuition costs, all of which the committee has publicly decried for years.


The Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities immediately fired back. Steve Gunderson, head of the association, called the report a case of “ideology overriding reality” and accused Harkin of being involved in “nothing more than political attacks.”


The report focuses on the top 30 companies that operate for-profit schools, some of which operate more than one school. The list includes such giants as the Apollo Group, owner of University of Phoenix, as well as American Public Education, Inc., owner of American Military University, the most popular school for students using Defense Department tuition assistance funds.


In a news conference Monday afternoon, Harkin advocated new laws that would prevent schools from using federal aid, including GI Bill funds, for marketing or lobbying, and argued that the Education Department should track all students, not only first-time, full-time students as it does now.

Read the full article.

For-Profit Colleges Get Scathing Indictment In Senate Report

The Huffington Post:

After a two-year investigation of the for-profit higher education industry, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) on Monday unveiled an exhaustive report on the colleges’ business practices, highlighting schools that charge excessively high tuition and shortchange academic investments in order to maximize revenues.

The report, featuring hundreds of pages of research drawn from internal company e-mails and statistics, concludes that the federal government has failed to protect students from misleading sales pitches and poor quality programs, and has not adequately safeguarded the $32 billion in taxpayer dollars that flow to the industry.

“American taxpayers are the single biggest investor in for-profit colleges, yet the government that holds their trust has little ability to ensure that they get the return on investment they deserve: educational and career success for the students who enroll,” the report said. “Congress must put in place a much more rigorous regulatory structure that incentivizes the sector to make the financial investments necessary to result in higher student success.”

Read the full article.