Thursday, October 13, 2011

For-profit schools a good bargain in tough times--especially for veterans

US Navy Marathon Team,
Chicago Marathon
Oh dear, it seems for-profit colleges are getting knocked again, this time by the Roanoke Times. As I've written before, for-profits--also known as career colleges--are more nimble than even community colleges in adapting to creating courses in emerging professions. They're ideal for veterans transitioning to civilian life and for anyone looking to change careers.

Are they more expensive than community colleges? Yes, but of course for-profit colleges are not taxpayer subsidized.

In response to the Times' attacks on the schools, Chuck Steenburgh, a GI Bill recipient who is now a communication director at a for-profit college, brings some levity to the conversation.

According to a recent study conducted by Robert Shapiro, former undersecretary of commerce for President Bill Clinton, titled "Taxpayers' Costs to Support Higher Education," public colleges cost the taxpayer nearly 50 percent more per enrolled student than proprietary colleges, even after accounting for the total cost of government-subsidized loans to students.

When you factor in public community colleges' low graduation rates, the cost to taxpayers is as much as 250 percent more per associate degree graduate.

The article also charges private-sector institutions with a "track record of poor student outcomes." The claim is ambiguous, perhaps because when looking at the facts, it's largely unsubstantiated.

In terms of overall graduation rates, Virginia's career colleges graduate nearly 60 percent of our students, in comparison to Virginia's community colleges, which have a graduation rate of less than 20 percent. What's more, in Virginia, 83 percent of graduates from career colleges obtained employment within six months of graduation.

When we discuss the costs of educating our armed service members, it is important to note that the costs paid at private-sector colleges go toward providing these men and women career training in high-demand fields, through short-term programs and flexible schedules and course delivery methods that work with veteran students' work and family lives.
Related posts:

Kentucky Dem's lame attack on for-profit colleges
Report from the bloggers' conference call on Dept of Ed's gainful employment rule for career colleges
McHenry County College's gainful disaster of a scholarship program
Minority business leaders speak up in favor of for-profit colleges
Soros, liberal groups aiding Obama's war on career colleges
Dept. of Ed. arranging one-sided "conversation" about for-profit colleges
Issa investigating allegations that GAO destroyed evidence from sloppy for-profit college investigation
Short-seller talked to Education Department about "gainful employment" rule
Washington Post Co. CEO: Proposed Dept of Ed rules on for-profit schools will harm low income students
Vet and student speaks up for career colleges
Campus Progress reports on career college issue--while fighting for-profit schools
War on for-profit colleges' Jayson Blair exposed by Gawker
Sun-Times: Feds shouldn't punish career colleges
Don't punish career colleges
Issa's oversight committee to look at GAO report on career colleges
Tom Harkin attacks career colleges
GAO revises its negative report about for-profit schools
The Department of Education's war on career colleges
Idiotic edu-crats attacking for-profit colleges

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