The For-Profit Problem, The State Solution

Something is probably wrong at many of America’s for-profit colleges. While this is perhaps no big revelation, reformers still haven’t figured out what reforms to institute to address the problems.

According to the National Consumer Law Center the answer is more involvement from the states. According to a recent report by the organization:

Only a few states have devoted sufficient resources in recent years to challenge for-profit school abuses and provide relief for students. There are promising signs that other states are starting to pay attention, but much more needs to be done.

The federal government has publicly instituted some significant reforms in these areas. But more is needed. This is not because states are necessarily very good at oversight (and different states will have different standards anyway) but because it’s usually only states that can compensate students for abuse.

As NCLC puts it:

State relief for students is critical because relief at the federal level is limited. Many states have either a student tuition recovery fund (“Recovery Fund”) or a bond program to reimburse defrauded students.

More state regulations (or better enforcement of existing regulations) might not force education companies to behave more appropriately, but it will certainly help students who were the victims of education scams.

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