Statistics show a lot of the students who attend for-profit colleges tend to be of the lower income class and older and schools are now struggling to sign them up. Kevin Kinser, a professor of education policy at Pennsylvania State University, said it comes down to a simple math problem. The enrollment decline at for-profit colleges don’t reflect some of the major changes in regulation, like a requirement that these colleges require they show what jobs students were hired for after graduating, proving it is were worth their cost.
“The for-profit sector enrollment increases in the 2000s were basically based on the idea that you could get a lot of new enrollment and so if a student dropped out or graduated, you’d have two or three new students to replace them,” he said. “They’re just not being able to recruit the number of new students they need to take over from the students that are dropping out and graduating. So, it’s math.”
Ben Miller, a senior director for post-secondary education at the Center for American Progress, said he estimates the numbers will continue to drop and he predicts there’s a majority of for-profit college’s that won’t able to change with the times.
“And that’s mostly on the lower-level training around certificates and some associates degrees,” he said. “That business model I think is on its way out.”
There’s also been a ton of endless criticism. If you were to type for “profit education” into almost any search engine, the results you’ll see is a lot of negative articles, one article calling it a $35 billion cesspool of fraud. Kevin Kinser said that makes a lot of potential students wary.
“And I think many of them are coming to the conclusion that it might not be at least at the prices and the risks in terms of financial aid that these institutions are relying on,” he said.
For-Profit admission prices have dropped for these schools and currently lower than last year and even that isn’t helping enrollment. As For-Profit colleges seek answer’s and the government continues to mold new laws into place. All we can do now is wait and see what happens.