For-profit institutions have come under fire for saddling students with too much debt and not enough job options, even as enrollment has nearly tripled to 1.8 million since 2000. New federal regulations are aimed squarely at the booming businesses, threatening to cut off student aid if too many graduates default on their loans.

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States crack down on for-profit universities

By Matt Krupnick

When Hannah Benbow ran into problems with the for-profit college she attended, she turned to the federal government for help. Benbow, 24, wrote to the U.S. Department of Education when the Art Institute of Washington in Arlington, Va.—one of more than 50 for-profit Art Institute campuses across the country—told her unexpectedly that she would need […]

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For-profit Career Education Corp. to close 23 campuses after enrollment plummets

By Erica Perez

For-profit college giant Career Education Corp. announced that it will close 23 of its 90 campuses and eliminate 900 jobs after the company reported a net loss this quarter of $33 million and a 23 percent drop in new student enrollment. The company, which owns six campuses in California, has not said which…

Everest College (Photo by Jeramey Jannene)

Senate report finds large cost gap between for-profit, public colleges

By Erica Perez

California Watch Among the findings of a U.S. Senate committee’s recently released investigation of the nation’s for-profit college industry is a stark assessment of the huge gap between what it costs to get a degree or certificate from a career college and the price tag of a comparable program at a public college or university […]

For-profit colleges pumping campaign money to foes of regulation

By Jon Marcus

For-profit colleges and universities and their industry association gave at least $694,829 to political candidates through May 31, much of it to members of Congress who oppose greater regulation of the industry, including proposed curbs on aggressive recruiting of veterans with G.I. Bill benefits. The Association of Private Sector Colleges and University, or APSCU, and […]

More students defaulting on college loans

By Nick Pandolfo

Another sign of America’s struggling economy revealed itself yesterday when the U.S. Department of Education released figures indicating that the percentage of people defaulting on college loans rose from 7.0 percent in 2008 to 8.8 percent in 2009. The for-profit sector of higher education–which has come under scrutiny for aggressive recruiting tactics in low-income areas–accounts […]


For-profit universities: By the numbers

By Sarah Butrymowicz and Sarah Garland

Just how well do students who attend five of the largest, most well-known for-profit schools in the U.S. do when it comes to repaying their loans? The Hechinger Report decided to take a closer look following the release of new federal rules meant to police institutions that critics contend take advantage of poor and unprepared […]


A compromise on ‘gainful employment’

By Joanne Jacobs

Compromises tend to please nobody:  Critics of for-profit higher education say the Education Department’s “gainful employment” rule, announced yesterday,  is too weak, while the industry complains it unfairly cuts off access to student loans. Under the new regulation (pdf), career training programs will have to show that  at least 35 percent of former students are […]

For-profit regulations released, reactions mixed

By Hechinger Report

The Department of Education released its long-anticipated regulations for for-profit colleges Thursday. By 2015, if fewer than 35 percent of graduates of a school are repaying the principal on their loans three years after commencement and if loan payments are more than 30 percent of discretionary income and 12 percent of all earnings, the school […]

For-profit colleges try to improve grad rates, hoping for Republican support

By Joanne Jacobs

Fast-growing for-profit colleges, under fire for saddling students with unmanageable debt, are rolling out new policies aimed at raising graduation rates while also hoping a Republican-controlled House will block unfavorable legislation. “We have a great opportunity to educate (the newly elected representatives) on the value our sector plays in the higher education system and the […]

Amid budget cuts and overcrowding at community colleges, for-profit institutions seek a niche

By Liz Willen

Community colleges – typically the country’s cheapest option for higher education – face a new and unlikely rival: the fast-growing industry of for-profit colleges. To understand why students are turning to more expensive options like for-profits, it’s helpful to consider the case of Joseph Carrillo Jr., a 24-year-old who until recently attended American River College […]