Arthur Kaiser, chairman of the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities, authored a recent article for the Daily Caller describing how for-profit schools could be a boost for the economy.
Mr. Kaiser highlighted the value of PSCUs:
“Private sector colleges and universities (PSCUs) offer students valuable advancement opportunities, at minimal cost to taxpayers. And we’re not talking about small numbers here. PSCUs educate 3.8 million students, many of whom are non-traditional students, including working adults, returning veterans and single parents. Our schools — with flexible schedules and online classes — give these Americans the rare opportunity to create meaningful, sustaining careers, rather than bounce from one low-paying job to another with no hope of earning a living wage. In fact, our students are often those who have lost their jobs and need new skills and training to establish sustainable careers.”
And, as we all know, “a postsecondary education is a prerequisite for employment today. PSCUs train students for in-demand jobs, at a time when Americans need those jobs most. Students consistently praise our schools for providing strong individual instruction, restoring their confidence in their skills and making the connection between classroom learning and employable skills they readily see upon graduation.”
Despite the contributions private-sector schools are making to the job force , “the federal government continues to single out the private sector schools with unfair regulations. For example, the U.S. Department of Education’s ‘gainful employment’ regulation requires that private sector schools face stricter standards for student loan repayment or risk losing federal student aid.”
Critics of the for-profit industry “have questioned why the student loan default rates for students at private sector schools are higher than those for non-profit or public college students. But this way of thinking discounts simple economics. Default rates are tied to demographics. Since PSCUs educate a high percentage of lower-income students who have fewer resources than their peers, these students are more likely to default on their loans. When you compare similarly situated cohorts, our students’ default rates are almost identical to those at community colleges and traditional four-year colleges.”
In conclusion, Mr. Kaiser warned of the negative impacts recent legislation would have in tough economic times:
“as a result of unwarranted regulation, students will have less access to programs and will not gain the critical skills needed to compete in today’s global workforce. Considering the stagnant economy and weak labor market, can we afford these regulations?”
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