Dr Herbert West writes "From the Village Voice "You might not know it, but you're sitting on $117,000. That's basically how much every American is potentially worth in government student aid. Want to attend grad school? Throw in another $114,000."
Between student-aid and GI Bill programs, most for-profit schools receive 90 percent of their revenue from the American taxpayer, which means that even a school with no accreditation has little or no stake in seeing students graduate-- they get paid regardless. Nearly 80 percent of students won't complete their program within six years—almost double the failure rate at traditional schools. You'd think that might be due to the fact that kids today are lazy good-for-nothings-- however, Bridgepoint Education/University of the Rockies (owned by Warburg Pincus, a New York private-equity firm) just 50 full-time faculty members are available to teach 90,000 online students. This is at a school that received its accreditation simply by buying up a Franciscan college in Clinton, Iowa.
Unsurprisingly, three-quarters of all for-profit students are enrolled at schools owned by Wall Street banks and private-equity firms such as Goldman Sachs.
I know I was raised to believe that a college education was key to some measure of financial independence and success-- increasingly it's looking like a predatory scam designed to keep the most vulnerable members of society in a debt spiral without even a degree to show for it."
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