For-profits’ Profits Fall

So this for-profit college thing maybe isn’t working out so well. According to an article by Melissa Korn in the Wall Street Journal:

New-student enrollments have plunged—in some cases by more than 45 percent—in recent months, reflecting two factors: Companies have pulled back on aggressive recruiting practices amid criticism over their high student-loan default rates. And many would-be students are questioning the potential pay-off for degrees that can cost considerably more than what’s available at local community colleges.

In the wake of media reports and congressional investigation about abuses and troublesome practices at for-profit colleges, the companies that own such colleges are now starting to dial down recruiting.

Some for-profit institutions have changed recruiting practices and some have instituted mandatory orientations.

But such practices can prove risky to the bottom line. Corinthian Colleges, which has been accused of numerous ethical and legal violations, briefly stopped admitting students who didn’t graduate from high school. Then the chain of for-profit schools apparently discovered that practice would significantly cut into recruiting (the company’s earnings fell 90 percent recently) and so will now let in high school dropouts, provided they take the company’s “Ability to Benefit” test.

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