Community Colleges and For-Profits, Together Again

In February the College Guide reported that for-profit Kaplan University was offering some of its courses to students in California community colleges. Well the concept is spreading. According to an article by Tracy Jan in the Boston Globe:

Bristol Community College is teaming up with a for-profit education company [the Princeton Review] to offer classes in popular allied health programs, a first-of-its-kind partnership that will allow students to bypass waiting lists — provided they pay double the tuition.

Many feel—with some justification—that an arrangement like this is contrary to the mission of Massachusetts community colleges. According to the article:

“It’s just unfair,’’ said Joe LeBlanc, president of the Massachusetts Community College Council. “I would be quite upset if a student who could pay two times as much jumped to the head of the line to take Bristol Community College classes. Public education, in my mind, means you’re keeping your costs as low as you possibly can. We serve everyone, and in particular, the have-nots.’’

Bristol Community College says that the plan is just a way to meet the state’s demand for healthcare workers. Economists expect the field to grow significantly in the next decade. Demand for healthcare workers grew 10 percent in the last year.

Tuition and fees for the new Princeton ReviewBristol Community College program will be about $8,500 a year. Full-time annual tuition for other programs at Bristol appears to be about $4,000.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer