Phi Beta Cons

Neal McCluskey on The Attack on For-Profit Higher Ed

The Cato Institute’s Neal McCluskey weighs in on a topic that has lately appeared on PBC, for-profit higher ed, in this piece.

I’m in complete agreement. The attack launched by Senator Harkin, et al. on for-profit higher ed is just scapegoating. The non-profits are just as much interested in raking in money and just as unscrupulous in enrolling weak students, stringing them along with simpleton courses and inflated grades.

This is a replay of the housing debacle. The federal government set the stage with ultra-cheap interest rates and pressure on lenders to forget traditional lending standards so the country could enjoy the supposed benefits of increasing homeownership rates. When that came crashing down, the blame was put on “greedy capitalists” and “deregulation” to shift people’s attention away from the fact that it couldn’t have happened without government intervention. The same thing is true here. Lots of unfortunate people are discovering that they’re deeply in debt for college and can’t pay it off, but without federal meddling in higher education, that couldn’t have happened either. Now the pols need a scapegoat.

George Leef — George Leef is the director of research for the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.

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