Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
The story makes clear that, notwithstanding "skepticism by some consumers and policy makers," this sector of our post-secondary education system will be a major player in the drive to have the United States attain the world's highest-number of college graduates by 2020.
The stats from the Chronicle story illustrate how college degrees increasingly come from for-profit schools that are in the business of selling education (and degrees) to people, sometimes to the detriment of the students themselves who encounter troubles with transferability of credits, heavy debt burdens, and limited job opportunities. As noted by the Chronicle, "Academic rigor at for-profit colleges. . . has been a concern, and a recent government report found that, on average, students who attend proprietary institutions have higher default rates on student loans than students at nonprofit colleges. The report, by the Government Accountability Office, also uncovered instances in which officials at some for-profit colleges helped students pass basic-skills tests or obtain invalid high-school diplomas so they could be eligible for federal aid."
Some of the Chronicle facts demonstrating the growth of for-profit schools in the United States:
- "For-profit institutions. . . are now awarding degrees at a faster clip than their nonprofit counterparts. Between the 1996-7 and 2006-7 academic years, the number of associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees awarded by private, for-profit institutions rose at a faster rate than the number of those degrees conferred by public and private nonprofit colleges, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
- "The number of associate degrees conferred by for-profit institutions more than doubled during that 10-year span, to almost 118,000. For public institutions, the number increased by 22 percent, to 567,000, during the same period. At private, nonprofit colleges the number of associate degrees decreased by almost 11 percent, to 44,000. Associate degrees awarded by for-profit institutions made up 16 percent of all associate degrees awarded in 2006-7, up from 10 percent in 1996-7."
- "The sector's revenue is projected to increase by about 10 percent annually, to $41.7-billion in 2014, according to a study this year by BMO Capital Markets. "
The Chronicle also notes that the biggest for-profit school of them all -- The University of Phoenix -- is "growing at a rapid clip." "In October, the institution announced that it had increased its enrollment by 22 percent over last year, bringing its total number of degree-seeking students to 443,000."
So more people attend The University of Phoenix these days than live in Cleveand, Raleigh or Miami.