SEF Blog

Challenges Facing For Profit Higher Education and America - William G. Tierney, President of AERA

Posted: 11/14/2014 2:40 PM

The for-profit higher education sector has come under increased scrutiny in Congress, in response to a flurry of criticism, alleging shoddy and fraudulent practices. Reports in the New York Times, the New American Foundation and public television have shown stories of students who were defrauded – they thought they would get a job and did not, or they did not realize the large size of the federal loan they would have to pay back. One commentator charged that the entire sector is “socially destructive” and “morally bankrupt.” In arguing for public hearings on the sector Senators Franken of Minnesota and Harkin of Iowa urged that a serious look needs to be taken at the sector so that it can be brought into line and/ or shut down. These charges are based on four assumptions about for-profit higher education, all of which are faulty. There is also one significant challenge for-profits need to overcome. First, the assumptions:

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