Archive for Sunday, August 19, 2012

Regents size up for-profit rivals

August 19, 2012


Kansas higher-education officials are expressing concern over the increasing number of students attending for-profit colleges.

A recent national report based on a two-year investigation by the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee alleged widespread problems in for-profit schools.

The report found:

• For-profit colleges received $30 billion per year in taxpayer funds.

• Most of the schools charge higher tuition than community colleges or public universities.

• Many of the schools use predatory and misleading tactics to recruit students.

• Graduate rates are extremely low.

• Many of the for-profit college chief executive officers are paid outlandish salaries.

“These practices are not the exception — they are the norm; they are systematic throughout the industry, with very few exceptions,” said U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, chairman of the committee.

The Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities defended the colleges’ performance, accusing Harkin’s report of twisting facts “in the tradition of ideology overriding reality.”

But at last week’s Kansas Board of Regents retreat, several board members wondered whether public higher education institutions were doing enough to recruit students who now are attending for-profit colleges.

Wichita State University President John Bardo, however, said many of the students going to for-profit schools would not be accepted by universities because the students don’t have an adequate academic background.

“Many of the students they are taking are needing remediation,” Bardo said.

But that brought a sharp response from Regents Chairman Ed McKechnie, of Arcadia. “They are potential customers, and taxpayers. If they don’t fit us, that’s not their problem, that’s our problem,” McKechnie said.

Several higher education officials said they would study the issue more and possibly contact some of the students who chose a for-profit school over a regents university or community college to see why they made that decision.


FalseHopeNoChange 1 year, 8 months ago

"For-profits?!" pfssst! Gimme an 'anti-profit' government institution like KU any day. An anti-profit government institution run by government peeps that hire 'genuine' government pimps like sweet Loo Perkins that has the football 'moxie' to hire a coach for $10,000,000 large, are exactly what the complex, slightly nuanced, are looking for.


irtnog2001 1 year, 8 months ago

Pot meet kettle. KU needs to become more effcient and offer more online degrees or it will continue to lose market share to these competitors. The old KU Harvard on the Kaw mentality must go. Look at how Park University has grown over the years by being more user friendly and charging competive rates for online and distance classes.


toe 1 year, 8 months ago

KU should be an exclusive high academic standard private university. Free from government limitations and government controls on the students it must take. Harvard is a good model. Get to work, KU.


rockchalk1977 1 year, 8 months ago

"Many of the for-profit college chief executive officers are paid outlandish salaries".

Like KU’s Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little with $450,000 in total compensation, including a base salary of $425,000 and $25,000 in deferred compensation that she will be able to access after she leaves her position?


Les Blevins 1 year, 8 months ago

KU will only do a better job of attracting students in proportion to how well it empowers its students to empower their careers by empowering humanity to address problems. In her recent speech, Gray-Little stressed the importance of utilizing opportunities the university has to offer as well as adding to the KU community, but this is a two way street and she can help the university help itself compete with for-profit schools by utilizing the opportunities the public brings to KU that offers to increase the viability of the community that supports KU and helps it thrive. Gray-Little needs to understand that putting corporate interests ahead of the people's interests is a dead end street for KU. For example KU could use the technology I've offered them to double the benefits the new biofuels research lab offers to the nation but KU shuts the door on that without giving me a chance to explain my vision. Why would they do this? Because they put Archer Daniels Midland interests ahead of those of Kansas farm and ranch interests and the nation's interests.


Barclay 1 year, 8 months ago

Education is a business. People purchase a product. When given choices most parents and post-secondary student will choose the educational product that can most effectively deliver the the education that matches their goals. Many of the for-profit colleges and tech schools offer degrees that government not-for-profits do not offer. The interesting truth is that both President Bardo and Regents Chairman McKechnie are correct. Many atttending for-profit colleges could not meet the enrollment requirement of KS Board of Regents schools. And as McKechnie points out that is public K-12 school's problem. But the solution will not be more dollars poured into K-12 public schools. Opening the door for K-12 school choice opportunities is one option for parents. Competition can drive improvement in public K-12 education. So could performance based salary increases for teachers. K-12 public school tenure continues to hinder the advance of an improved public K-12 educational product. I find it interesting, but not surprising to read that for-profit schools benefit from tax dollars. Could they be successful with tax dollars? But all not-for-profits benefits from tax dollars, if only for the road infrastructure that brings their students to them. But I also think it to be a bit disingenuous to refer to most public universities as not-for-proft. Beside tax dollars, millions and millions of dollars pour into universites from private enterprise in the form of research grants and endowments. And don't let anyone tell you that major university athletic programs basketball and football programs are not designed as for-profit enterprises. Athletic administrators and coaches make millions on the backs of student athletes. Harkin D-Iowa has a pro-socialist world-view. Successful private enterprise is disturbing to him.


question4u 1 year, 8 months ago

Baker is a private non-profit and not the kind of school to which the regents are referring.


kuguardgrl13 1 year, 8 months ago

What do you mean by "for-profit"? Is that a private school like Baker or places like DeVry or University of Phoenix? I don't think schools like Baker do a lot with remediation or use misleading tactics. Their administration seems more personable than even KU.


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