Posts Tagged “education”
June 17, 2011
Epoch Times writer, Gregory Grego, says, “as the US economy develops and shifts from manufacturing to service, education becomes a an even more important factor in productivity and success. It is no surprise that the salary gap between college-educated and non-college-educated workers clearly reflects today’s value of a college education.”
With employers increasing their demand for post-secondary degrees, “so has the demand for higher-education providers. However, public and nonprofit organizations cannot meet this existing demand alone and for-profit education institutions, who enroll 12% of all college students, are picking up the slack. These schools cater to non-traditional students by providing flexible course schedules and job-specific training.”
The spotlight has been unfairly put on for-profit education institutions. “By generating hurdles for the non-traditional students who typically attend for-profit schools, the government is throwing even a larger wrench into the gears of a struggling economy.”
Critics of for-profit education need to recognize the demand for-profit schools are meeting. Without the option of flexible scheduling and online classes, higher education is impossible for many adult learners. Without private sector colleges and universities we cannot meet the growing demand for higher education.
To read the rest of this article, click here.
The Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities today responded to a floor statement by Sen. Richard Durbin in which he claimed that many private sector colleges and universities (PSCUs) take advantage of US taxpayers and students. APSCU pointed out that private sector schools actually offer the flexibility and support many veterans need:
PSCUs offer servicemembers and veterans an important postsecondary alternative for purposeful, career focused education that meets many of their needs, moving these individuals from classroom to workplace with speed and efficiency. They deserve no less. With a financially stressed public higher education infrastructure and a difficult job market, PSCUs perform an important function that reflects the interest of Congress, the President, and the American people in expanded postsecondary access for people who are or who have been in service to our country.
APSCU also showed the financial benefits of private sector educational institutions on American taxpayers:
Independent research has shown that the true cost of education at a community college is actually higher than that at a PSCU, when the taxpayer subsidies are included. Most analyses also do not factor in that PSCUs pay taxes on their profits, while not for profits do not. Most non-profits also do not pay property taxes, while most PSCUs are in commercial space and are paying property taxes. When the much lower graduation rate of students attending community colleges is also factored in, the relative costs of the education strongly favor PSCUs.
In addition to saving taxpayer dollars, private sector colleges and universities also provide a flexible, efficient education to many military personnel across the country:
Many students currently in the military or with a military background select our schools because PSCUs offer a ‘no-frills’ approach to a quality higher education. These are individuals who want to get their educational requirements completed efficiently, to gain bankable skills and to get on with their lives.
APSCU ended its letter by applauding the expansion of the GI bill, which offered veterans greater choice in their higher education decisions:
One fundamental benefit of that legislation is that it gave more veterans the ability to choose the educational path that is best for them, while before its enactment, the prices at private non-profit and for-profit schools and the out of state tuition charges for students attending such were out of reach… We were proud to be able to offer our support to a broad coalition of organizations supporting that new law when Congress was considering it last year, knowing that the primary advocates for it were the veterans themselves, who understand the value of having a choice of the best educational path for themselves and for others, including the opportunity to attend PSCUs.
Offering America’s veterans a quality education is an important step toward strengthening our nation’s future. Private sector colleges should be applauded for doing their part to support veterans’ education.
Read the full statement here.
March 15, 2011
Longtime education specialist Jamie Ferrell this week wrote about the successes achieved by for-profit colleges and universities. Ferrell thanked the institutions for taking risks to provide higher education:
Thank you [to all of the] universities who had the courage almost a decade ago to take a risk. A risk that has not only provided individuals the opportunity to get their degrees even while working and taking care of families, but also paved the way and built the models that now allows state universities to offer these degrees online as well.
Ferrell also pointed out that for-profit schools have helped create a new educational model that should be welcomed:
What these lawmakers are failing to recognize is that it took guts, innovation, large investments and a lot of time NOT being profitable for these for profit online education companies to get where they are today…and the model is less than TEN YEARS OLD. How can the for-profit schools be expected to figure out HOW to raise their graduation rates and how to lower their default rates when most of them just recently figured out how to get students to graduate? The disservice that has been committed in the higher education industry is not from the for-profits.
Rather than blame these schools for ushering in greater flexibility and quality in education, public schools should try to learn from them:
Instead of attempting to shut down an industry that has opened the doors for people to better their lives; why not work with the state universities to offer more of these programs that have displayed high graduation rates, low cohort default rates and other positive statistics.
Ferrells article shows the many ways that for-profit educational institutions have helped improve the higher education system. Learning from their successes will only assist other institutions in providing a more high quality education to America’s students.
Read the full article here.
March 14, 2011
A recent article in the Daily News Pulse discussed the need to expand rather than limit student choice in higher education. The author, Charles Winget, argued that private sector schools, and in particular online colleges, provide the flexibility many students require:
Students around the country rely on the ease and accessibility of online colleges to earn their college degrees. Without access to college grants such as the Cal grants, these students will be unable to afford a college education, and will be stuck without a high paying job. This would continue to have adverse effects on the economy and slow the recent growth we have seen.
Winget also pointed to the unfair treatment of private sector colleges by the so-called ‘gainful employment’ rule:
Career-oriented colleges and universities are granted the authority to confer degrees by exactly the same accreditation bodies with the very same standards for schools like a Georgetown or Duke. But the proposed gainful employment rule will be unfairly applied exclusively to privately funded, proprietary schools, even though publicly funded community colleges have student default rates which, in many cases, are much higher than career-oriented colleges.
Voices like Winget remind us of the importance of institutions that provide a flexible, quality education to students throughout the country. Policymakers would be wise to consider what is lost by targeting these institutions rather than considering educational reform across the board.
Read the full article here.
March 11, 2011
The Sun Sentinel today ran an op-ed by president and CEO of American Institute, Randy Proto, that stressed the importance of addressing student debt in all sectors of higher education. Proto discussed the need to tailor regulations to each type of school, based on their financing and repayment structures:
Issues unique to schools based upon their for-profit ownership merit unique regulations. For example, financial soundness measures vary by ownership and control. However, issues of common concern to all students and taxpayers — such as student debt repayment rates and educational efficacy — warrant common rules. Without subjecting all education providers to the same regulatory process, resulting rules are biased at best.
Proto also pointed out that non-profit schools have remained silent on the so-called ‘gainful employment’ rule because they know it could damage the quality of education they provide students:
Nonprofit and public institutions aren’t calling for applying this “silver bullet” rule designed to protect students from excess debt to all career and technical education programs at all institutions. Why not? Because they know it would malfunction and shut down or damage some of their best programs.
Proto ended the piece by showing his support for legislation that holds all schools accountable for their quality:
We support legislation that requires every provider of similar educational services to issue similar disclosure and outcomes information to enrolling students, and to meet substantially the same quality standards.
It’s great to see educators who are committed to higher education reform at all levels. Every student deserves a quality education.
Read the full article here.
October 26, 2010
Repayment Rates – Asserted fact: that the regulations are needed because the “profit” in the for-profit colleges yields lower repayment rates than at non-profit and public colleges.
Actual fact: Repayment rates are a result of the demographic and socio-economic status of the students who take out the loans, not the tax status of the colleges they attend.
Cost to Taxpayers — Asserted facts: Critics assert that regulations are needed because for-profits cost federal taxpayers too much money each year. DOE uses the number $26.5 billion as the latest total annual “federal aid.” Senator Harkin repeatedly uses the number $24 billion. Both are false and misleading.
Actual fact: The data proves that public colleges and private not-for-profit colleges cost taxpayers substantially more money per student at four-year colleges than for-profit colleges.
Inferior Job Placement – Critics assert that for-profit schools have dismal graduation and job placement rates, leaving students with large debts and bleak earnings potential, as compared to private not-for-profits and public colleges.
Actual fact – For-profit college graduation rates at two-year institutions exceed 55 percent, significantly higher than those at community colleges.
Davis points out the double standard of “gainful employment” in his closing comments:
“The Harvard or Stanford students majoring in ancient history or anthropology, with difficulty finding jobs in those fields, would be unaffected by these proposed regulations. Yet a minority or low-income student training to be a health care assistant or computer technician or chef would face two new debt and repayment rate tests that could have adverse effect on the institutions under the Department’s rules. Why is there such a distinction?”
It is clear from reading these three “asserted facts” is that for-profit colleges have been unfairly singled out by the proponents of “gainful employment.” The discriminatory nature of this double standard makes amending the regulation a necessity.
Read full article here.
October 25, 2010
Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of FinAid.org and Fastweb.com, recommended significant changes to the proposed “gainful employment” regulation in a recently released summary of his policy analysis papers. Heather Kerrigan of the National association of Student Financial Aid Administrators highlighted Mr. Kantrowitz’s key findings and suggestions:
- Include all programs at all colleges in the gainful employment affordable debt restrictions.
- Exclude minority students and Pell Grant recipients from the CDR to avoid penalizing schools that have higher proportions of at-risk students.
- For-profit institutions attract a larger number of minority students and Pell Grant recipients. On average, colleges with a higher percentage of minority students have a lower loan repayment rate. Because of this, Kantrowitz argues that gainful employment regulations may shift more minority students to community colleges, thus decreasing the loan repayment rate at those schools. The same can be said for Pell Grant recipients.
- Kantrowitz argues that the Missouri Data set may not be indicative of national statistics because Missouri has a lower minority enrollment and does not account for all types of postsecondary institutions.
- Clarification from the Department is necessary on a number of items including how average earnings will be calculated and how an institution can move from ineligible back to eligible status.
This analysis of “gainful employment” raises many critical questions that must be considered before the regulation is implemented. Most importantly, Mr. Kantrowitz emphasized the high percentage of at-risk students attending for-profit schools, and the likely unrepresentative data the regulation is based on.
Read the full summary here.
October 12, 2010
In an article published yesterday on the Journal Sentinel Online, Herzing University President Renee Herzing spoke out against the “gainful employment” regulation and defended the value of private sector educations. Ms. Herzing questioned the Federal Department of Education’s basis for proposing this regulation:
“The Department of Education proposed a rule based on anecdotal information from 16 unnamed for-profit colleges that no one is allowed to examine for accuracy. Worse, the “study” does nothing to compare graduation outcomes or debt levels of our students with public or non-profit institutions serving similar student populations.”
While Ms. Herzing was critical of the regulation, she emphasized her commitment to producing graduates that are capable of paying off their loans:
“Let’s be clear. We agree with the concern the department is trying to address. The idea is that students should graduate with jobs that pay enough to enable them to repay their loans. We’re committed to students’ successes, so we would like to be part of any solution that helps further their success.”
Ms. Herzing also discussed some very relevant differences between for-profit and nonprofit schools:
“As a for-profit, Herzing has to be better to stay in business. We aggressively update curriculum so we’re offering cutting-edge degrees in health care, technology, business and public safety. We know our graduates do well because we track their success, where most public institutions do not.”
“For taxpayers, we’re the best educational deal in America. We don’t require huge taxpayer subsidies or massive tax breaks. Just the opposite. We pay millions of dollars of sales, property and income taxes.”
Read full article here.
We agree with Gene Barr, vice president of government and public affairs for The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry.
“On the surface, the “gainful employment” rule might seem a practical approach — the Department of Education is trying to prevent students from taking out more debt than they can pay back. But student debt is a shared concern, and a blanket approach targeting all career colleges is an inappropriate response to a complex problem. Rather than penalize students for selecting certain career paths and educational institutions, the focus should be on providing the education and counseling necessary to help students and their families determine what is an appropriate financial commitment for their own personal educational goals.
Education is a key component in creating economic stability. So long as Pennsylvania’s students are fully informed about the cost of their education and the income potential of their chosen career path, they should be allowed to make their own educational choices free of interference from the federal government. Otherwise, our students will no longer have control over their choice of careers and our employers will lose a vital source of qualified, skilled workers.
The Department of Education should abandon this ill-conceived rule in favor of less-intrusive measures that allow our students to control their own destiny.”
In a letter sent to Dr. Jill Biden, APSCU President Harris Miller congratulates the White House for their commitment to higher education, but describes not including private sector colleges at the White House Summit on Community Colleges as a missed opportunity. President Harris goes on to discuss the key role private sector colleges will play in accomplishing the President’s goal of attaining the highest college graduation percentage in the world by 2020.
“The millions of students in private sector schools deserve the same attention and encouragement as those students in other postsecondary institutions. Please don’t forget to include our students in future White House discussions of how best to prepare our future workforce for the 21st Century. Only by joining forces will we help our country regain its global leadership in higher education and allow many more Americans to achieve their dreams.”
– APSCU President Harris N. Miller