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For-Profit Students Make Less Money, Institutions Face New Scrutiny

A number of news items this week didn’t bode well for for-profit colleges and universities or their students:

Durbin Calls For ‘Careful Review’ of University of Phoenix’s Accreditation. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) asked the Higher Learning Commission, a federally-recognized college accreditation agency, this week to do a “careful review” when they examine the University of Phoenix. The for-profit college has not been evaluated in more than a decade and has since been the subject of at least five state lawsuits and one federal investigation by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. The University of Phoenix has also been fined by the U.S. Department of Education for violating federal regulations. [Businessweek] [The Deal]

For-Profit Students Earn Less With Lower Chance of Employment. The latest study from the Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment’s [PDF] finds that for-profit graduates are less likely to be employed and will have lower earnings six years after their enrollment than similar students at public or non-profit universities. For-profits students in 2009 earned, on average, $1,800 to $2,000 less than their peers who attended any other type of institution. Compared to the earnings of community college graduates, for-profit students make almost $5,000 less per year. [Washington Monthly]

California’s Crackdown on For-Profit Education. In response to an impending debt crisis, California is bulking up eligibility for “the nation’s most generous state-based financial aid system,” CalGrants, and officials have been debating whether the program should cover online college degree programs. Groups like The Institute for College Access and Success have called for stronger state oversight when dealing with the for-profit industry. This comes after the California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education’s shutdown of one for-profit college, the Institute of Medical Education, last week. The for-profit was missing a required accreditation in one of the school’s medical field training programs. [Inside Higher Ed]

Jeff Raines is a journalism intern with Campus Progress. You can follow him on Twitter @Jeff_Raines.

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