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For-Profit Schools Fight To Keep Profits

By Anna Deem in News on Feb 6, 2011 6:45PM

2011_2_univofphx.jpg Sen. Dick Durbin is currently at battle with a new enemy: the for-profit college industry. For-profit schools are "attempting to stop new regulations that would withhold federal education loans and grants from its schools with high student debt and low student loan repayments," according to the Chicago Sun-Times. The universal complaint about for-profit schools is that too many students graduate with useless degrees and too much debt. In a new measure being referred to as "gainful employment," funding would stop to individual programs as two-thirds of for-profit school students do not pay down the principal on education loans and do not earn enough to do so.

In a speech last week in Washington, Durbin said that for-profit colleges are "consuming a disproportionate share of federal financial aid dollars," as they educate less than 10 percent of all college students but still receive 25 percent of all Pell grants. For-profit school students also make up 44 percent of the federal student loan defaults.

Durbin continued, noting that while there are "many good for-profit colleges" there are "also a lot of bad for-profit schools that are raking in huge amounts of federal dollars and leaving students poorly trained and over their heads in debt." Many students are paying $20,000 to $30,000 for associate's degrees but their diplomas aren't helping them get jobs. "They're no more employable than they were before and now they're deep in debt," Durbin said.