It's been yet another busy week in the world of for-profit higher education. Smallplanet.com reports that "for-profit and selective colleges provide better return on value." These findings are based on a new study released by the American Institutes for Research, and Nexus Research and Policy Center.
The study also found that career colleges give taxpayers a net gain of more than $6,000 per bachelor's degree. For the same degree, equally selective, private not-for-profit schools post a net taxpayer cost of $8,000; however, comparable state schools are at a net cost of more than $60,000 per degree."
The report concludes that government will see better value "from supporting lower-cost, nontraditional college such as for-profit institutions."
The Chronicle of Higher Education also weighed in on the study's findings: "Government should focus more energy on getting colleges to retain and graduate students, it should scrap its current methods for gathering data on colleges, and it should throw more support behind lower-cost, nontraditional colleges, like for-profit institutions."
Yet despite their merits for-profit colleges remain objects of intense scrutiny. Boston.com reports that "Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley is investigating the recruitment and student loan practices at several for-profit colleges in the state, the latest in a series of legal inquiries into the industry."
The Massachusetts probe is just one of many such inquiries into the practices of career colleges.
As the studies from the American Institute for Research and Nexus Research and Policy Center reveal, for-profit colleges provide a vital service to millions of undergraduates, one that should not be taken for granted.