An April 25, 2011 Huffington Post article reports that career colleges plan to mount an attack on recent legislation that submits them to greater regulatory scrutiny. The colleges and the lobbyists representing them embarked on a campaign "finance blitz" totaling millions of dollars over the past year.
And victory may in fact be imminent; the industry, the article reports, appears to be on the verge of getting a special provision in the budget that would curtail government oversight of their institutions.
These last-minute skirmishes represent only a fraction of the battles fought by for-profit universities over the past few years. In 2010 alone, the industry spent more than $8.1 million on lobbying.
The industry has hired a so-called "dream team of Washington insiders" to promote their cause, with some of the most powerful lobbyists in Washington joining the cause -- Tony Podesta of the Podesta Group and former Clinton special counsel Lanny J. Davis.
That career colleges have hired such talent is not surprising. After all, a lot of money is at stake. Revenues for publicly traded college corporations topped $20 billion last year.
And with more than $377 million dollars being spent on advertising a year by some for-profits, it is no wonder the schools are loath to see their efforts wasted. Indeed, representatives from the colleges argue that the proposed legislation leaves some of the most underserved student populations without hope of achieving a college education.
The Huffington Post article presents an interesting and helpful overview of the recent governmental efforts to reign in some of the largest providers of for-profit educations.