Higher Education: We get what we don’t pay for

For-profit colleges are cleaning up, thanks to slumping government support for public schools. Is that what we want?

From Inside Higher Ed:.

For-profit colleges will grow as they continue to fill a gap left by public higher education, which cannot keep pace with demand thanks to slumping government support, according to a new study by John Aubrey Douglass, a senior research fellow at the Center for Studies in Higher Education at the University of California at Berkeley. That growth will not be due to well-thought-out policy, and will happen despite concerns about the performance of for-profits, Douglass writes. This “policy default” in the United States follows a pattern in Brazil, South Korea and Poland — dubbed “the Brazilian Effect” — that will encourage lower-quality institutions and fail to meet national educational goals, the study predicts.

In another article, a Senate study reports that for-profit colleges are getting half the money the Department of Defense spends on tuition assistance for active-duty military personnel. For military spouses, the percentage is even higher, “with $12 million going to for-profits that are not eligible to participate in federal financial aid programs. As the report noted, those institutions operate outside of the government’s ‘regulatory regime set up to ensure minimal levels of program integrity.'”

By the way, Inside Higher Ed is a great online magazine delivered daily (M-F) to your computer’s doorstep. Maybe you should subsribe. It’s free.

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