Harkin hits for-profit education

Senate Education Committee Chair Tom Harkin “lashed out at the for-profit education sector” in a hearing Wednesday, reports Reuters.

Chairman Tom Harkin pointed to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released Tuesday that found staff at the controversial colleges urged potential students to fudge their income on loan forms and give misleading information about costs.

Abuses are “systemic to the for-profit industry,” Harkin said.

The ranking Republican, Sen. Mike Enzi, said, “In focusing only on for-profits, we are not being objective, and we are ignoring the bigger picture of what is happening across all of higher education.”

The GAO investigated for-profit colleges that receive 89 percent of revenue from federal aid, including University of Phoenix in Arizona, Everest College in Arizona, Kaplan College in California and Argosy University in Illinois.

The Career College Association, a trade group for the for-profit sector, vowed “zero tolerance for bad behavior” and promised to improve training and start a “mystery shopper” program.

POSTED BY Joanne Jacobs ON August 5, 2010

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For-profits under fire « Joanne Jacobs

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Pete Morton

I have been watching this story unfold for several days. The for profit sector certainly has been hit in the proverbial wallet as share prices are off across the board. I am skeptical as to the extent of the so called “zero tolerance”. There is a lot of money and stake and the major for profits all have lobbyists looking after their interests. I would like to think that this exercise is more than grandstanding for the benefit of the public, but I lived in DC too long not to be cynical about these sorts of things.

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