Early last October, California’s attorney general filed a lawsuit accusing a for-profit college company, Corinthian Colleges Inc., of misrepresenting job placement data, false advertisement and altered grades and attendance. According to state Attorney General Kamala Harris, the lawsuit against Corinthian Colleges Inc. was part of a longer investigation of the entire for-profit college industry. This was not the first time this company has been under similar allegations.
In 2007, Corinthian paid $6.5 million to settle a lawsuit that Gov. Jerry Brown filed while serving as California’s attorney general. Corinthian has been said to have deliberately singled out low income parents and military veterans, receiving about $186 million in the new GI Bill funds.
The company has been investigated by federal regulations and by several other states. An agreement with the Department of Education was made this July to shut down or sell about 100 campuses during the upcoming months. Although Corinthian has been the main source of investigation they have not been the only for-profit colleges undergoing such allegations.
In today’s society, education is essential to the standard of living. Although online classes and for-profit colleges have been seen as a great alternative to private or public universities there, is no real comparison. According to the Education Department, 72 percent of for-profit colleges produced graduates who earned less, on average, than high school dropouts.
In addition to the financial differences, for-profit colleges tend to have significantly higher student loan default rates. Take Everest College-Springfield for example. Its student loan default rate is about 18 percent after three years in comparison to Illinois State University whose student loan default is about 3 percent after three years. Many people believe that for-profit colleges are cheaper and may leave them less likely to be in debt but that’s just not true.
U.S. Senator Tom Harkin said, “As many students face a lifetime of debt with no diploma, these schools are enjoying profit margins that place them among the most successful companies in America.”
Aside from the exaggerated job placement data, the value of a for-profit degree versus a degree earned at a private or public university is incomparable. There is no real value in a for-profit college degree. Due to recent scandals and allegations for-profit colleges have been undergoing, many employers do not see for-profit college degrees in the same light as private or public university degrees. This leaves students without a diploma or a job.
When choosing a place of higher education, it is incredibly important to consider the reasons for choosing that institution. It’s always a better decision for one’s future career endeavors and financial stability to go to a public or private university instead of opting for a for-profit institution. As stated earlier, education is essential to the standard of living. Without the proper degree from a recognized institution, achieving the proper standard of living will be much more difficult.