…Admission to Ashford requires a high school diploma or equivalency. So when it came time to fill out the financial-aid forms, the recruiter told Bobby to claim that he’d already graduated. He objected, but she insisted “the loan-processing company will go back and correct everything.” Still, he left the graduation date blank. Someone filled it in, because Ashford was soon receiving federal-student-loan money on his behalf.
Of course, it’s illegal for kids Bobby’s age to receive financial aid. But for-profit colleges haven’t always been scrupulous when it comes to raiding the federal treasury. Between student-aid and GI Bill programs, most schools receive 90 percent of their revenue from the American taxpayer. And the recruiters–often little more than salesmen paid largely by how many people they enroll–are driven mercilessly to keep those cash registers ringing.
Students don’t get much in return. Although tuition rates can run as high as those at America’s most esteemed universities, the education is generally substandard. In the end, most kids wind up walking away with a questionable degree bought at top dollar–and a mountain of debt to accompany it….
…Unfortunately, this isn’t a scam that only targets the young and naive. The for-profit industry is so rife with deceit, it has been billed as the second coming of the mortgage-loan debacle. And the same people are behind it. Three-quarters of all for-profit students are enrolled at schools owned by Wall Street banks and private-equity firms. All told, they soak $30 billion a year from American taxpayers. But even in the age of slash-and-burn government, Congress has shown no interest in stopping it….
For-Profit College Group Fights To Keep Students In Dark On Debt
Source: Chris Kirkham, Huffington Post, August 23, 2012
Educating Sergeant Pantzke – For-profit colleges promise veterans a high quality degree — but do they deliver?
Source: Frontline, June 28, 2011
For-Profit Colleges Target the Military
Source: Daniel Golden, BusinessWeek, December 30, 2009