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Trump rolls back regulation on high education

Universities are at the center of a struggle between education and profitability.   |   Courtesy of flickr.com

 

When President Donald Trump was elected, for-profit schools began to rise up from the ashes. It is not hard to see why. As the Obama administration sought to regulate and restrict this billion-dollar industry, the Trump administration is comprised of individuals such as Betsy Devos who have advocated controversial policies regarding higher education.

For-profit education has been highly contested over the past few years. A for-profit school is a business with shareholders out to provide students with an education and skill that will help them obtain a job. But what is the difference between a for-profit school such as Devry University, and a non-profit school such as Biola? The fundamental difference between a non-profit school and a for-profit school is the nondistribution constraint. This states simply that non-profit organizations can not distribute profits to those who run it. While this system does not necessarily ensure quality education, it does explain why non-profit schools are not nearly as corrupt as for-profit schools. A study was done prior to the Trump administration taking over the Education Department identifying 800 failing programs using the newly implemented gainful employment rule — a governmental regulation created to filter out low quality college programs. Of these 800, 98 percent were at for-profit schools. The gainful employment rule links schools’ federal funding with their record on job placement and earnings.

For-profit schools are looking to grow and expand so as to make more money. Often these schools provide short semesters that allow the student to graduate quickly and enter the field of their choosing. The premise of for-profit schools is a fairly sound one. There are no requirements to enter one and is set up to help students obtain usable skills that will set them apart from others. In doing so, the student obtains a degree and graduates quicker than an average four-year university student. Yet, for-profit schools are looking for short-term success to make money and, in doing so, leave their students jobless and in debt.

Now that the Trump administration has taken over, it is looking to roll back rules and regulations placed on both for-profit and non-profit institutions by the Obama administration. Which makes sense since President Trump owned his own for-profit school, which collapsed under a scandal. While some of these regulations would be beneficial to colleges and universities, the repeal of the gainful employment rule would allow for-profit schools to continue their deceitful ways.

Your Turn.  Post a Comment

  1. Charles Riser JR

    Well, interesting article except that its entire point is completely out of line and grossly inaccurate.

    Gainful Employment Regulations only affected "for profit" schools OR schools with certificate programs. For instance a community college with a cosmetology or culinary program. And the entire university wouldn't be affected, only the particular program that offered a certificate program.

    So saying:

    "A study was done prior to the Trump administration taking over the Education Department identifying 800 failing programs using the newly implemented gainful employment rule — a governmental regulation created to filter out low quality college programs. Of these 800, 98 percent were at for-profit schools. The gainful employment rule links schools’ federal funding with their record on job placement and earnings."

    implies that these rules looked at ALL colleges and only found "for profits" having allegedly failing programs.

    When in fact, the regulation did not look at non-profit universities at all, which of course, was the entire problem with it.

    When the regulation was first proposed, the Department did indeed do a preliminary study and estimated that almost 45% of non-profit universities would also fail the standards put into place by the regulation. Ultimately the Department chose to not hold non-profit to the same standards as for-profits.

    CharlesJR March 2, 2017

  2. Charles Riser JR

    Sorry. Forgot to mention something earlier:

    Your headline is a bit, shall we say, inaccurate.

    Trump has not "rolled back" anything yet on Higher Education. The headline lead me to believe there was some new piece of information that I missed on the national media sites.

    This piece was pure speculation, with no actual facts ... accurate or not ... in the article other than the parts I mentioned earlier that complete misrepresented this particular issue.

    CharlesJR March 2, 2017

  3. Cynthia Medina

    Even though those I know who have attended Biola have had a great experience, I find it bizarre that a college that is extremely pricey would toot their horn in this manner.

    $30,000 plus in tuition a year and room/board taking attendance cost up to almost $50,000 a year? $120,000-$200,000 for a 4 year degree? Biola would have likely been WELL into the fail zone had the government chosen to fairly assess all college programs, not just the for-profit ones.

    Many for-profit schools offer an excellent education at a reasonable and/or comparable cost, utilize none of your tax dollars to do so, and do not have to layoff faculty or close programs when the economy is poor. Demonizing them is not a solution to the problem of affording education in America.

    I found out recently that in my state, for-profit schools account for only 20% of the programs, but provide 60% of the college graduates - many of them entering fields that have many more positions available than skilled professionals available to fill them. You would definitely feel the impact in your everyday life if these programs have to close to due the new regulations. Check out Mike Rowe’s recent address to The House Committee on Education and the Workforce: The skills gap, lack of encouragement for vocational training/education for jobs that do exist, and providing degrees/training for jobs that no longer exist all point to a much more complicated issue than for-profit vs. non-profit.

    Also, how many 4 year, non-profit program graduates do you meet that are waiting tables after graduation? There are a LOT in our area and their school debt is typically more, not less than those that attended for-profit vocational colleges due to length of time in college and high expense of our local non-profit state schools. Only the community college students seem to have less debt, but training for many of the career options that are in great need of new professionals is not offered through their programs. March 3, 2017

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