PBS has a great new documentary out about the for-profit education industry in America. If you or someone you know is looking at a degree program from a college that is out to make as much profit as possible, be sure to spend some time watching and sharing this video before ending up in a huge amount of student loan debt.

Unfortunately, the embedded video doesn’t seem to be working right now so you’ll have to watch the video from the Frontline webpage over here.

There are plenty of happy graduates who did manage to find jobs related to their degree programs, but many others struggle to compete with degree holders who completed a more traditional academic path.  Since the schools are designed to optimize owner and investor profit, they can end up costing five or six times as much money as community colleges – even two or three times more than state universities or private schools.

One reason for the high costs is the advertising budget – new schools need to spend big bucks to get their name out.  Traditionally, institutions have relied on word of mouth and a strong academic reputation, but when you’re just building your school you can’t point to any famous graduates or job placement statistics.

Between expensive tuition bills, aggressive marketing, and an almost predatory aim toward acquiring new students, its best to go in with a healthy dose of skepticism before signing on to any long term commitments.  It might not even be possible to transfer credits earned from one institution to another one, so don’t get sucked in with those high pressure tactics designed to get you in class ASAP!  Its always a good time to head back to school, but its always worth spending some time on the proper research first.

5 Responses to “College Inc., a PBS documentary on for-profit education”

  1. This is quite true and i highly support this that students who resides in hostels and pay huge fee to school or college administration should get the output. But in today;s time education is a business for many people.

    They are only happy with opening a school, doing some cheap publicity in their local market and gets admission.

    Another thing, when college is taking responsibility of student’s studies then they should be at least some what concerned about his/her carrer.

    The things are going worst these days and even i am dealing with credits and looking for some debt management as i am still not able to recover from those debts..

  2. I am currently attending a for-profit school & I just wrote about my experience so far on a blog I just started: http://theeducationlottery.blogspot.com/

    There are good & bads about attending any school & I guess I won’t know whether I made the right decision about the school I chose until after I graduate & try to get a better job!

  3. There was an interesting article today on Yahoo about the value of a college degree:


    The article basically says that the return on a college degree is much less than thought and it amounts to about $400,000 over the course of a career. Apparently, if you invested that money in the stock market over 30 years (based on traditional long-term yields of 8%) you’d come out ahead substantially.

    I still feel an education, particularly liberal arts, has huge value but perhaps for reason other than simply making more money. As more people in the U.S. have bachelor degrees, they are naturally worth less in the job market, but it’s the creative, practical skills you learn (often outside of the classroom) that will get you a good job.

    Education should be a right, as an educated populace is necessary to a well-functioning democracy which we don’t currently seem to have. It shouldn’t mean young people going into debt for 10 or 20 years to pay the advertising budget of some shady for-profit school.

  4. Skills are just as important as education, if not more practical. These days, you don’t see people opting for a skilled trade because they are aiming for the white collar positions where the money is. On the contrary, there are plenty of positions posted on job sites for skilled labor jobs. We, and our government, need to change the way we feel about work and thus education right from the scratch.

  5. If you are looking for some alternative education methods for your children, check out Brainy Academy. Brainy Academy is located in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, and is a tutoring and enrichment center for children.

    We offer tutoring in math, reading, writing, and Russian. Your child can learn either one-on-one or in small groups of three, with one of our professional teachers. Brainy Academy’s Brooklyn tutoring service utilizes the Singapore Math Method, which is rated as one of the best math methods in the world. This program promotes problem solving and model drawing in order to solve math problems.

    There are Montessori classes for younger children, ages 3-6. Studies show that children in Montessori classes end up doing better in school than their peers. The Montessori program is based in developing reasoning and logic in children, along with giving them pre-math and pre-reading skills.

    Our other unique program is our Science with Legos class. There is no other educational program in Brooklyn that has this type of class. We teach simple physics concepts through building with Legos and other materials. Children build levers, pulleys, windmills, etc., and learn all about how they work and even create experiments according to the scientific method.

    Check us out at http://www.brainyacademyny.com.

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