There's no denying that career colleges are a popular choice among higher-education consumers. SayCampusLife.com reportsthat for-profit institutions are seeing explosive growth. Enrollment at them has increased four-fold since 2000, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. And some 27 percent of all college students were enrolled at for-profit colleges, an increase of 7 percent from a decade earlier.
University of Phoenix is frequently cited as the most obvious example of the success of private-sector colleges and universities (PSCUs) have enjoyed. University of Phoenix has over 500,000 students and more than 200 campuses worldwide.
Taken together, PSCUs account for 25 percent of all federal education grants.
The recent attack on PSCUs is due in part to the tremendous influence they have over the education sector. With one university instructing over half a million students alone, that's a tremendous responsibility it carries.
Perhaps that's why some legislators want to call the for-profits to the carpet; the sheer number of students they instruct make it imperative that they provide a quality product. But the sheer number of students PSCUs instruct also point to the popularity -- and the importance -- of these institutions.
If PSCUs are forced to turn away students because of certain legislation, where will those hundreds of thousands of students go? Certainly public universities cannot accommodate such a large number of students. It is therefore important that for-profit universities be allow to continue providing a service to nontraditional students.