The For Profit Colleges
The For Profit Colleges
In this movie, Martin Smith comes in to investigate the for-profit higher education institutions that offer education to students who otherwise could not have gotten such education in the other institutions of higher education. The film, through conducting interviews with former students in these institutions, officials in the government, admission personnel and other players, investigate the issues in this industry that critics have cited. These are such as offering worthless courses, which in reality leave many students struggling to pay back loans they took. The ‘for profit’ higher education institutions are owned by rich people who turn them into profitable businesses through taking them near the people and create new programs, which are designed to meet the market needs that traditional higher institutions have failed to offer. Critics claim that these programs are just designed to attract people considering many do not get better jobs even after pursuing very expensive courses.
The ‘for profit’ colleges and universities have come in to cater for students who miss chances in the traditional universities, as well as those who are too busy. Most of the students have been found to be working class who pursue these courses in order to progress their career through seeking eligibility for promotion and higher pay. Many of the ‘for profit’ universities offer these courses even in the freeways where people can have easier access, as well as online for those who may not be in a position to physically attend one of their facilities. This makes it easy for them to enroll even those who are not qualified since they can offer a bigger number of people such education with ease. In addition, these institutions teach throughout the year; hence, there are more people in a year in a ‘for profit’ university than a traditional setting university.
Considering they are profit oriented, many of these institutions are not much interested in the performance of students; rather, they are concerned about students paying for their education. In addition, they want to access money given by the federal government as loans to students who may not be in a position to pay their education fees. However, after it was found that 44% of students who failed to pay up their loans were from profit making universities, the government has considered coming up with a measure that can be used to check eligibility of their causes in terms of value to the market. This was contrary to their claim that they offer degree programs that boost earnings and job eligibility. The suggestion is to require all the universities to show that their courses are valuable in the job market. The film goes ahead to say that this would have serious consequences considering it will mean a negative image to the public concerning their quality level of education.
Most surprising, the film finds that in one of the ‘for profit’ colleges, students studying nursing completed their diplomas without going to hospitals for practical lessons, which are extremely necessary. Other graduates have reported that getting a job with courses from ‘for profit’ colleges is becoming tougher than they thought, which leaves them unable to pay up for their student loans, and further cite that prospective employers consider their degrees valueless for the current market. In one of the interviews with one of Grand CanyonUniversity students, Martin Smith finds that the institution has around 40,000 students enrolled, but only 5,000 can be found in the university. All the other students login online form around the country to learn. This is one of the institutions taken up by Michael Clifford, a former musician with hardly any higher education. This only means it is more geared towards making profit.
Taking a closer look at these universities, they are spending a lot of money in marketing to attract more students, while a majority of their profit come through their online courses, which are easier to offer and more convenient for all people even the most busy. In addition, these universities can expand the number of students thy take by several times their current number through online facilities. This enables them to make enormous profits which otherwise would not be possible through the traditional universities.
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