Phi Beta Cons

The Right take on higher education.

For-Profits Dissed Again


In an article laced with suspicion of for-profit colleges, the Associated Press reports that for-profit schools will be major beneficiaries of President Obama’s push to send more students to college. Last year, five for-profit schools received a total of more than $1 billion in Pell grant aid, reports AP writer Justin Pope, and 24 percent of Pell grants went to for-profits. (These schools represent around 9 percent of total enrollment.)

He quotes critics who say that growing federal aid “has unleashed a new gold rush” for for-profits. But these schools, they say,  have “too many incentives simply to enroll students and tap the spigot from Washington — and not enough to make sure students succeed.” The only critic actually named is a representative of AACRAO, an organization of admissions officers and registrars at traditional colleges — an interested party, to say the least.

Pope says that the AP findings show “the extent to which the United States has ramped up its support for low-income college students in recent years, but increasingly outsourced the job to the private sector.”


I guess all that tax money should be going to the inefficient non-profit sector rather than the one that the students actually want to attend.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: A previous version of this post incorrectly stated that Pope’s article does not mention the percentage of total enrollment that for-profit schools account for. We regret the error.)


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