Senate Report: For-Profit Colleges 'Abysmal'

Republicans, industry, say findings are biased
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 31, 2012 1:50 PM CDT
Senate Report: For-Profit Colleges 'Abysmal'
Tom Harkin discusses the report, July 30, 2012, on Capitol Hill.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Private, for-profit colleges are gorging themselves on federal cash while spending little to ensure a quality education for their students, who are dropping out in droves, Democrats on the Senate's education committee declared in a report yesterday. The report found that more than half the students at the 30 schools it examined wound up dropping out after four months. Those schools spent 42.1% of their revenue on marketing, recruiting, and profits, compared to just 17.2% on teachers, the LA Times reports.

"In this report you will find overwhelming documentation of exorbitant tuition, aggressive recruiting practices, abysmal student outcomes … and regulatory evasion," Chairman Tom Harkin said. Federal financial aid accounted for 80% of the revenue at the schools, the report said. But an industry group says the report "twists the facts to fit a narrative," while committee Republicans said they had "substantial doubt about the accuracy" of its finding. The Republicans did admit, however, that there were "significant problems" at for-profit colleges, the Arizona Republic reports. (More college stories.)

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