As stock values of for-profit colleges climb northward, the schools themselves are reaching southward to hemispheric neighbors.
The Wall Street Journal reports that a growing number of Brazilians are willing to pay to get an education, and career colleges are willing them oblige them.
This trend represents a positive change, because South America has long had a problem with educating its population. The WSJ article reports that the best universities in Brazil are state-owned and charge no tuition. Then there are the nonprofit universities that also offer a high quality education, but charge steep fees for it. Both lie out of reach of lower-income students.
But demand for skilled labor is on the rise in Brazil, and for-profit, career colleges have presented themselves as the means by which the country can meet its human resource needs.
Some critics warn that, like in the United States, for-profit schools will provide a low-quality education. But advocates discount this concern, insisting that such schools are necessary to train Brazil's youth.
And it looks like the advocates will have their way: The burgeoning labor market in Brazil has seen a dramatic rise in enrollment at for-profit schools. Already American companies are taking advantage of the increase. They wish to consolidate the fragmented Brazilian education system, which has more than 2,000 for-profit institutions.
The facts are clear: For-profit colleges serve an important role in a world that requires educated workers. To hamper them in serving this role is the hamper progress itself.