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Sunday, February 26, 2012

For-profits schools receive nearly half of military education benefits

BusinessWeek reports that for-profit schools get nearly half of all federal dollars aimed at assisting veterans in pursuing education after their military service.

According to BusinessWeek:

"For-profit colleges are getting almost one of every two military Tuition Assistance dollars, according to data from the U.S. Department of Defense.
"The for-profit college industry received $279.8 million of about $563 million spent last year on the program, according to analysis released today by the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. Public colleges received $163.5 million, while nonprofit private schools got $119.4 million.
"Congress and states’ attorneys general have been reviewing sales practices and student debt loads at for-profit colleges, which get as much as 90 percent of their revenue from federal programs. Schools solicit troops partly because their government tuition programs are excluded from that 90 percent cap. Senator Tom Harkin, a Democrat from Iowa, has proposed legislation that would include those funds to remove the extra incentive for signing up soldiers.
"'Today’s news that the DOD is paying more to for-profit colleges than public and nonprofit institutions is highly troubling,' the majority staff of the committee said in the report, which cited misrepresentation of programs and tuition costs, aggressive recruiting strategies and high drop-out rates as 'significant problems' in the industry.
"Six of the top 10 tuition assistance recipients are for- profits -- American Public Education Inc., Bridgepoint Education Inc., TUI Learning LLC, Apollo Group Inc., Columbia Southern University and Grantham University -- according to the report.
"Tuition Assistance lets active-duty members of the military take college classes, capped at $4,500 per year."

Private equity firm purchases Career Training Academy

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that a Chicago-based private equity firm has acquired a small for-profit school, Career Training Academy, in Pennsylvania as an investment.  The firm, HCP & Co., acquired the 25-year-old school "which has its main campus in New Kensington and campuses in Monroeville and Ross" and "provides training in medical and dental assisting, medical building and massage therapy." The school currently has more than 250 students, and the new owners are seeking to boost enrollment and expand program offerings.

Harvard study finds-profit students have higher unemployment and lower earnings

A new, comprehensive study of private, for-profit institutions finds that students enrolled in these schools "end up with higher unemployment and 'idleness' rates and lower earnings six years after entering programs than do comparable students from other schools, and that they have far greater student debt burdens and defaults rates on their student loans."  The study by three Harvard professors was prepared for the Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment.  The comprehensive report is entitled, "The For-Profit Postsecondar School Sector: Nimble Critters or Agile Predators?"

If you have a concern about a particular for-profit school, click here.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Institute of Medical Education student: "We wasted a whole year for nothing"

California state officials are continuing their efforts in shutting down the Bay Area-based Institute of Medical Education over financial and accreditation problems.  More than 250 students who each paid the school thousands of dollars in tuition are dealing with problems relating to non-transferability of credits and lack of accreditation at the school that operated Oakland and San Jose campuses. One of the students effected by the closure told the San Jose Mercury News, "We wasted a whole year for nothing."

The Googasian Firm, P.C. is investigating the closure, following its representation in class actions of thousands of students harmed by other for-profit schools.  Persons wishing to share their concerns about the the Institute of Medical Education with Googasian Firm attorneys may do so here.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

New Bill Attempts to Protect Vets From Unscrupulous For-Profit Colleges

Legislation introduced this week in Washington, D.C. aims to close a loophole that encourages unscrupulous for-profit colleges from taking advantage of military veterans in enrollment practices.
The Military and Veterans Education Protection Act would discontinue the current practice of allowing GI Bill funds and other defense-related education programs from being counted as "private funding" by for-profit schools, which are required to have at least 10 percent of their revenue from private sources.  Due to the loophole, unscrupulous for-profit schools target veterans in an effort to lure them to enroll in their programs, thereby helping the schools' satisfy their 10-percent requirement.
A host of Democratic Senators introduced the bill this week in the U.S. Senate, including Sen Al Franken (D-Minn), Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.), Sen. Tom Casper (D-Del.), and Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa).  A report on the bill can be read here.
Deceptive enrollment practices are a chronic problem in the for-profit school industry.  If you have a concern about a for-profit school and its tactics, share it at www.forprofitschoolwatchdog.net.

Friday, February 17, 2012

California shuts down nursing school over accreditation

State of California regulators have shut down a for-profit school over allegations of false accreditation and other improprieties.  According to a recent news report, the Institute for Medical Education was closed on February 15, 2012 after California regulators "determined it had deceived students enrolled in programs such as dental hygiene, nursing and other medical fields."
The Googasian Firm, P.C., a law firm in Michigan that has represented thousands of students harmed by for-profit schools, is commencing an investigation of the closing.  For further information on The Googasian Firm's efforts against for-profit schools, visit here. The firm has served as class counsel in numerous class actions against for-profit schools, and it recently filed a lawsuit against the Palm Beach Institute of Technology regarding claims pertaining to its lack of accreditation.  For additional information on the Palm Beach Institute of Technology case, click here.
If you have a concern abut the Institute for Medical Education or another for-profit school that you wish to share with a Googasian Firm attorney, call 1-877-540-8333 or click here.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Columnist: "Beware of For-Profit Schools"

An editorial in the Belvoir Eagle urges the public to "beware of for-profit schools," where enrollment has risen dramatically in the past decade.  Joyce M. Peterson writes:

For-profit schools are educational institutions operated by private seeking businesses. There are many categories of for-profit schools but the ones that Soldiers, Family members and Department of Defense civilians should be aware of are post-secondary institutions which employ deceptive marketing tactics by refusing to disclose total tuition cost and fees to prospective students before they enroll with the school; enticing students to take out student loans even when the applicant already has enough financial assistance. These schools promise extravagant, unlikely high pay to students after graduating and over-flood the market with advertisements in newspapers, the internet, radio and television.

If you have concerns about a for-profit school's practices, share your views with attorneys at The Googasian Firm by submitting your concerns here.

TV investigation probes Belford High School

KHOU's investigative unit, the I-Team, has broadcast a report on Belford High School, which operates out of Karachi, Pakistan.  The I-Team went to two addresses provided for Belford High School in Texas and found one of them to be an abandoned building and another to be a closed-down commercial mailbox store.  The president of Houston's Better Business Bureau criticizes Belford in the report as "classic con artistry."
Belford and its owner, Salem Kureshi, are defendants in a class action lawsuit pending in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.  The class of recipients of Belford diplomas on whose behalf the class action is being pursued are represented by The Googasian Firm, P.C.  For further information on the class action, click here.