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Should for-profit schools be eligible for federal aid?

Companies that run colleges and trade schools for profit are mounting a campaign against an Obama administration effort to tighten rules for their access to federal aid. Critics say that students from for-profit schools often end up with unmanageable debt and weak job prospects, while the schools say they offer older and low-income students an opportunity to get ahead in life. What do you think? Should for-profit schools be eligible for federal aid?

By Andrea Caumont  |  October 22, 2010; 8:45 AM ET Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Public monies spent on public institutions only. Private institutions are privately funded and owned, and do not disclose their financial connections with others openly, as public institutions are required by law.

Posted by: patmatthews | October 22, 2010 9:33 AM

This poll is too blunt. I voted "no" simply because too many for-profits are overcharging for tuition, offering inferior degrees, and spending more on marketing than on education.

A person who wants to be a hair stylist should be able to get a Stafford loan. However, for-profits have abused the system, masqueraded as universities when they are just trade schools, and overcharged students because they know students can get govt' subsidized loans without realizing how hard it will be to pay them back. For-profits account for 20% of loans and 50% of defaults, meaning for-profit students are 2.5x more likely to default because they can't find adequate work to pay back their loans.

Instead of bluntly denying money to these schools, those schools whose default rates exceed 150% of non-profits should be investigated and possibly banned. Right now, the average for-profit school is at 250%, a serious abuse of students and public money.

Posted by: AxelDC | October 22, 2010 10:18 AM

No schools should be receiving federal aid.

Public schools have failed - even the supporters of public schools admit that schools cannot teach "all" kids (only "the right kind" of kids, or the kids with the "right kind" of parents/family/home life/whatever).

Therefore, we should make parents responsible for kids' education - but the public school's plan, to give responsibility to the parent while retaining the authority themselves, is neither fair nor even workable; responsibility and decision-making ability must go together, or else the result will be disaster (as we are seeing).

Posted by: skir | October 24, 2010 3:57 PM

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