Are career colleges spending enough on their students? That's the question the Huffington Post asks in a recent article.
The article reports that for-profit colleges devote less than a third of the amount that public universities spend on educating students. Yet for-profit colleges charge nearly twice as much as public universities, according to new federal government data released Thursday.
Graduation rates are lower among certain career colleges, as well. According to recent statistics, one in five students graduate from for-profit bachelor's degree programs within six years, compared to more than half of students at public universities.
The recent studies come at a time when for-profit colleges are facing scrutiny from the government about their practices.
The HuffPo article reports that the industry relies heavily on federal student aid but, because the industry is responsible for an increasing number of defaults in the federal student loan program, the colleges have come under attack.
Undergraduate enrollment has increased dramatically over the past few decades, with enrollment skyrocketing at online colleges. It's only reasonable, then, that the for-profit higher-education sector undergo a close examination of its practices.
Though some of the news from the studies was sobering, data did point to for-profit colleges' having a much higher graduation rate for two-year degrees, with 58 percent of students graduating as opposed to 21 percent at public two-year schools.
For-profit colleges do serve a need in American society. That they have to reform and refine certain practices is understandable, and it looks like they will do so. The next few years should reveal whether the for-profit colleges will emerge into their true potential.