Beyond UC: Private vs public higher ed dynamics

The state of the economy produces stress not only on the wallets of
individuals but on the budgets of public higher education institutions.
Thanks to budget cuts, higher education through the state becomes less
affordable.  As a result, private technical and vocational colleges become
a comparable alternative for some.  There has been a spike in enrollment
within the past decade (“from 673,000 in 2000 to 1.8 million in 2008”) at private schools, but recent observations in the disparity between expectations and reality have led to the desire to regulate the practices of these profit-making

These regulations include a ban on “bonuses for recruiters” and
“requiring the disclosure of graduation rates at for-profit schools.”  The
Obama administration is still undecided with regard to “regulating
‘gainful employment.’”  What this would do is “potentially … deny loans or
limit program enrollment if students end up with high debt and low wages.”
The purpose of the legislation is for students of for-profit colleges not
to take out loans to pay for their education when the jobs that they are
ultimately offered will not help them pay these loans off.  “Eleven
percent of all-higher education students are enrolled in [profit-making
colleges]” and these students “receive 26 percent of federal student
loans.”  Forty-three percent of students who default on their student
loans are among those enrolled in for-profit schools.  With the majority
of these students coming from low-income or minority backgrounds, and
either older or first-generation college students, the last thing that
these students need is to rack up a debt they cannot repay.

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