Kaplan has offered to refund tuition to students who aren’t satisfied with introductory courses, reports Daniel Bennett of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity.
In a letter to Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Kaplan CEO Andrew Rosen proposed that a “risk-free” introduction to for-profit higher education would answer concerns about recruitment.
For-profit educators can’t make a profit unless they offer services that meet their customer’s needs, Bennett writes:
The track record of for-profit education is long enough at this point that if the industry were providing a product of little value, the customers would be aware of this and simply go away. They have not. Demand at for-profits is as strong as ever.
University of Phoenix is piloting a free three-week orientation to ensure students know what they’re getting into before they take out loans, reports the Arizona Daily Star.
Class components include a goals worksheet, a time-management workshop, lessons on how to work in a collaborative environment, and talks about the available university resources, said Mark Vitale, director of academic affairs (at University of Phoenix’s Southern Arizona campus).
The class also tests students’ commitment, he said. Can they come to class for a couple of hours? Can they make time for homework?
That way, students can “make sure what they’re getting is a good fit for their needs” before they pay anything, Vitale said.
In the future, the program also could include education on what it means to borrow money, a company leader has said.
Students with less than 24 transfer credits are required to go through orientation. So far, about 80 percent enroll after orientation.