Thursday, February 20, 2014

For Profit Education Stinks

Allegations against for-profit schools for fraud of various kinds continue to pile up. The latest are made in a lawsuit by former employees of Premier Education Group, which owns a string of small colleges:
“I saw students who never should have been there, students with whopping gaps in learning abilities and major psychiatric problems who were just not capable of doing the work,” said Ms. Amaya, an administrator at Harris’s Linwood campus, and then at its Wilmington, Del., campus, from 2009 to 2011. “The bosses were always like, ‘Stop asking why they’re enrolled, just get them to graduation however you can.’ ”

Her charges are part of a federal lawsuit filed by seven former employees against Harris and its parent company, Premier Education Group, which owns more than two dozen trade schools and community colleges operating under several names in 10 states. The suit contends that while charging more than $10,000 for programs lasting less than a year, school officials routinely misled students about their career prospects, and falsified records to enroll them and keep them enrolled, so that government grant and loan dollars would keep flowing.
All of this is well known to anyone paying attention, a group that unfortunately does not include the students of these colleges:
Students at for-profit schools often do not realize that cheaper alternatives exist through public community colleges and trade schools. A study published this month found that the majority of people who had attended for-profit colleges and trade schools did not understand the distinction, learned of their schools through advertising and did not consider any other schools.
This is straight-out exploitation of the poor and ignorant, the people who most need our help, and also theft of Federal education dollars. The Obama administration has been trying to crack down on these schools, but in the current legal and moral climate they thrive like weeds.

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