A nice summary of the problem with for-profit colleges:
Exacerbating matters is that just when a college degree is becoming the basic credential for entry into the middle class, billions of taxpayer dollars are being diverted to a questionable and expensive new player on the higher education scene: for-profit, investor-owned colleges. These institutions, with heavy investments in marketing, have enjoyed explosive growth. They also made enormous profits for their shareholders, with stock prices outperforming the S&P by about 400 percentage points for the last two years.
Of course, as we’ve learned from the banking industry, what’s good for investors may not be good for the average American. That is certainly the case with the for-profits. Their startling growth has come at great cost to their students, taxpayers and public colleges.
Students who attend for-profits pay about seven times more than students attending a publicly-run community college. For-profits are masters at tapping government programs, such as Pell Grants and subsidized student loans, to help students pay their bills. While they educate about 9% of Americans, they receive 21% of Pell money and federally subsidized student loans.
So federal money that could be helping real colleges stave off huge cuts is being diverted to students enrolled in online ventures of questionable effectiveness. That money, in turn, is going into the pockets of the rich. In terms of improving the quality of higher education or even just promoting economic recovery, it might as well have gone down a rabbit hole
Why do I feel like a Peruvian who just had his water system privatized?