Several states have pulled funding from career colleges. Bloomberg Businessweek reports that "[f]or-profit colleges, criticized by the U.S. for their recruitment practices, are facing increased state regulations as the government weighs measures to tighten access to federal student aid."
The article goes on to report that Maryland's legislature just passed a bill that would curtail state funding for career colleges. California has also enacted a measure limiting grants for which career colleges are eligible. And at least 16 additional states have proposed or enacted laws affecting for-profit colleges this past year.
Maryland, California and other states have grown tired of waiting for the federal government to enact rules limiting access to federal funds. "The Education Department said last year that it will release regulations in early 2011 that will tie for-profit colleges' eligibility for federal funds to graduates' incomes and loan repayment rates," the article goes on to report, but the "department delayed the rules after getting a record 91,000 letters, most of them opposed to the proposal."
Career colleges clearly need to work on such important issues as student retention and post-graduation loan repayment. But we should not forget that career colleges market a vital service in today's economy. Without them, millions of Americans would be left with no higher-educational options whatsoever. It is therefore important that as state legislators work to curtail some of the more problematic practices of career colleges they also ensure that the industry continues to thrive in order to serve consumers.