In a scathing report, the U.S.-based Education Trust is accusing American for-profit colleges of making out like bandits while students are left with crippling levels of debt.
The report lists a series of concrete examples of how for-profit higher education is failing:
The University of Phoenix – the nation’s largest for-profit postsecondary education provider – collected more than $1 billion in federal Pell Grant aid last year. In 2008, however, its six-year graduation rate was just 9 percent. At individual Phoenix institutions, the highest student-success rate was 33 percent at the New Mexico campus; the lowest rate was just 4 percent at the Cleveland and Wichita campuses.
In 2008, 31 percent of the students attending DeVry University graduated in six years.
The six-year graduation rate at Westwood College was 27 percent in 2008.
The report concludes that for-profit colleges are operating on a business model founded on “systemic failure.”