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Student Perspectives on For-Profit Colleges

by Allison Rizzolo

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

In an effort to limit predatory behavior and poor performance among career colleges, the federal government is seeking to enact new regulations on the sector. The regulations, known as the gainful employment rule, would affect a large number of for-profit colleges.


With the public comment period on gainful employment due to close on May 26th, we're hearing a lot from advocates - including students - on either side of the issue.

This is typical when it comes to public debate on divisive policy - the strongest, most passionate voices are the ones we hear from most. This tends to paint a very black-and-white, polarized picture. Outside of the influence of advocacy and persuasion, what do average students of for-profit colleges have to say about their schools?

According to our research, it seems the views of students and alumni toward the for-profit sector are a lot more nuanced than the picture painted by advocates or opponents. Students are enthusiastic about their schools on a number of measures, including the quality of their teachers and the ease with which they can progress through their programs. At the same time, a third of alumni say their degree wasn't worth the cost.

Learn more about what students and alumni had to say in the video below, or download our report on the research here.






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