Typical news report (via the New York Times, page A15, 10/1/10):
Rifts Show at Hearing on For-Profit Colleges
[F]or-profit colleges have become a polarizing force in Washington. On Wednesday, hundreds of students from for-profit colleges rallied at the Capitol, many wearing T-shirts proclaiming, “My education. My job. My choice.”
And the industry has taken out advertisements in many publications, and produced a stream of reports and op-ed articles extolling the colleges’ benefits.
Among those industry groups running ads (many in the Times itself):
• The Coalition for Educational Success (“Preparing the New American Workforce”)
• Kaplan (“We Build Futures”), probably the biggest player of all
(For a good overview, check out Inside Higher Ed.)
Critics of for-profit colleges say they suck up too many federal dollars, exploit students desperate for employment, and generally under-deliver.
Defenders of for-profit colleges respond this way, according to the Times:
Lanny Davis, a Clinton administration special counsel who is now an adviser to a group of privately owned for-profit colleges, wrote on The Huffington Post that the government crackdown on for-profit colleges had an elitist, racist feel and seemed to reflect a distaste for profits.
That goes double for Andrew Ferguson in the Weekly Standard. Headline:
Obama’s Crusade Against Profits
The hardworking staff has barely scratched the surface of the crusade against “Obama’s Crusade.”
Stay tuned for more.