Wednesday, May 5, 2010

For-Profit Education: Ripping off the Working Class?

For many months now, bloggers like Historiann, Roxie's World, and Clio Bluestocking have been sounding the alarm about the creep of the for-profit model into higher education, to the detriment of actual, well, education. Today, Historiann has a discussion on last night's PBS/Frontline special, "College, inc."

I work at a four-year public university that serves a population made up primarily of working-class first-generation college students and non-traditional students returning to school -- the same demographic that these for-profits are going after, to the detriment of these already vulnerable groups. I encourage you to watch the video, then take part in the discussion over at Historiann's place.

Considering the giant smoking crater that the profit-driven mentality has blown in the national and global economy in the last years, I'm not convinced that the "business model" is the best direction for something as important as education.


Historiann said...

But, the advantage of the "business model" is that 1) it appears to be cheaper than funding education directly, and perhaps more importantly, 2) it keeps the money and decision-making authority away from the dirty effing hippies who run American universities these days, and keeps the money and power where they should be. (In the hands of "capitalists" whose business model is ripping off the federal government! I guess they learned very well from Ross Perot and KBR/Blackwater. The greatest customer of all is the federal government.)

Of course, it only appears cheaper, if you watch College Inc. In fact, the for-profit model is just a big ripoff scam designed to consume student loan checks, and the students be damned.

Thanks for the link.

Joe said...

Thanks for this. Very informative. My wife had been thinking about this as a replacement for a university education and I'm pretty sure that after seeing this, she will continue taking classes through a university.

Notorious Ph.D. said...

Thanks for the comments, guys, and I'm enjoying the ongoing discussion at Historiann's place.

Alexis, I had to delete your comment because, though it contained a comment, its link to your commercial website violates my anti-spam policy. If you want to repost the comment without the link, I'll be happy to leave it up.