Across the country, public community colleges are inundated with applicants, but filled to capacity at a time when the public sector is cutting back. In the past ten years, private, for-profit colleges have picked up the slack by targeting low-income and minority students with massive recruiting campaigns. They have tripled enrollment and become a multi-billion dollar industry. Classes are funded by student loans, which the students, not the colleges, have to repay. Now the Department of Education is asking questions, trying to crack down on what it claims are abuses. Why do so many students go into default? Did they get what the colleges promised: jobs good enough to allow them to pay back the loans? Were they qualified in the first place? Are new rules needed to get abuses under control?
John Lauerman, Bloomberg News
Robert Shireman, US Department of Education
Harris Miller, Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities