Dear Commons Community,
Over the past several weeks, there have been a number of articles commenting on the federal government’s scrutiny of the financial aid practices of for-profit colleges. Enrolling approximately 1.8 million students and representing 10 percent of all enrollments, the for-profit sector has become a major player in American higher education. The for-profit colleges and universities enroll many students who do not qualify for a variety of reasons in traditional public and private institutions. Many of these students also tend to be poorer and minority students. New federal guidelines appear to be long-overdue but some question whether they go far enough in insuring that students will not be used as pawns for accessing federal financial aid programs and leave them with burdensome debts. The new federal guidelines will be addressing mostly the certificate and short term career programs more so than the four year colleges. The federal government’s involvement is welcome and hopefully will help weed out unscrupulous operators. For further information and commentary on this issue, see the URLs below.