Magazine October 5, 2009, Issue

The Future is For-Profit

Education entrepreneurs are poised to upset the complacent higher-ed establishment

Professors and administrators at traditional colleges don’t have much interest in, or knowledge of, their for-profit competitors. Operating in an insular academic world, most of them probably don’t know anybody who has attended one.

But for-profit colleges now enroll close to 10 percent of the college population. And if industry projections are correct, for-profits will threaten the pleasant sinecures enjoyed by faculty and administrators at traditional colleges and universities throughout the country. 

For-profits are, inevitably, very different sorts of enterprises from their traditional counterparts. They make money. If they don’t, they go out of business. Many are publicly traded, and they have

Jane S. ShawJane S. Shaw retired as president of the John W. Pope Center for Higher Education Policy in 2015. Before joining the Pope Center in 2006, Shaw spent 22 years in ...

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A reader argues that drug dealers are criminals — and if drugs were legalized, they would still be criminals.