Archive for the ‘career schools’ Category

New College Blogs and Websites

August 19, 2009

A New Blog Designed to Assist College Students

Two brothers with more than 50 combined years of experience in higher education and counseling have just launched a new blog called College Success Tips.  Given the experience of the authors, we are confident that the blog will be worth frequent visits.

Two New Websites for Counselors and Educators and Parents

During our many years in education, we have been asked countless different questions about college admission.  The most often asked question, by far, has been which colleges an individual student might be admitted by.  In second place are questions about getting into individual colleges, such as “What will I need to do to get into Harvard?”.

Now there is a brand new website…so new that it is not fully completed…to help students, families, and counselors find answers to these questions.

On the College Admission  Profiles site, students can find profiles of incoming freshmen classes at hundreds of colleges and universities and see where they might fit.

Please note that the site is not yet complete so it only has a few hundred college profiles thus far, but many more are coming soon.

Another new site, Free College Info Search, offers students a chance to match themselves to online and traditional schools and colleges.

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Can For- Profit Colleges be Trusted?

March 13, 2008

Can for-profit colleges be trusted? Do they care about quality education or is profit their only concern? Are schools and colleges which are publicly held under so much pressure to drive up earnings and stock prices that they are willing to admit any prospective students who apply for admission?

Three past employees of Kaplan College have accused their former employers of offering admissions personnel illegal incentives to enroll students and of pressuring faculty to give students inflated grades in order to retain them. Kaplan has denied the allegations, and labeled the three…two of whom were fired…as disgruntled. Whether these particular allegations are truthful or not…that will be decide by the courts… there have been similar accusations, many upheld, against a number of for- profit schools and colleges.

The truth is, the for- profit education industry has been extremely profitable. The Kaplan schools and colleges, in addition to the tuition students pay out of pocket, receive approximately $500 million a year in federal financial aid dollars. The University of Phoenix, American International University, Keller Graduate School, and others also take in significant federal funds. There is nothing wrong with that, per se. Many students have attended these institutions, and others like them, and have been very satisfied.

However, it is extremely important that the appropriate government agencies carefully monitor all institutions which receive federal financial aid dollars to be certain that:

1. they offer sound educational programs.

2. they admit only students prepared to benefit from the programs they offer.

3. they hold faculty and students to appropriate academic standards.

To do otherwise is unfair to both students and taxpayers.

Shakeup in For-Profit Education?

February 18, 2008

The most recent Sunday edition of The New York Times carried an interesting article written by Gretchen Morgenson entitled “The Insiders Are Selling, But Why”, about the fact that 13 Apollo Group insiders have recently sold 1.6 million shares of stock. In addition, the Apollo Group, which owns the University of Phoenix, did no share repurchasing during the most recent quarter, in contrast with extensive repurchasing in the past. Apollo stock, Morgenson tells us, is down 14% from it’s peak, while Career Education Corporation and the Corinthian Colleges…two other major players in for-profit education, have seen their stock prices fall by 31% and 50% respectively.

It has since been announced that the Career Education Corporation will close several of its schools and colleges after allowing currently enrolled students to complete the programs in which they are now enrolled. McIntosh College in Dover, New Hapshire, founded in 1896, is among the institutions scheduled to close. Lehigh Valley College, and Gibbs schools and colleges in New England, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania are also scheduled to cease operating.

For many reasons, including significant enrollment growth, Apollo seems to be in better shape than most of its competitors. But, with recent changes and heightened government and consumer interest in the student lending industry, the nation’s current economic woes, the financial pressures being felt by lenders, and the number of high risk loans awarded to students at proprietary institutions, life in the for-profit education world may become more difficult for the schools, for investors, and for students.

Typically, for-profit schools offer limited scholarships. And, such schools attract a fair number of low income students who require financial aid to continue their education. Thus, if loans become more difficult or costly to obtain, it may well be proprietary schools and the students they serve who will be impacted most dramatically.

Nobody is predicting the demise of for-profit education. In fact, recent events may make some stocks in the sector a good value. But, when the insiders of the most successful corporation in the sector sell off massive holdings for relatively small profit and a major player closes long established schools after failing to find buyers for them, many questions arise.

Among those questions; is a major shakeup coming in the for-profit education sector? Will we see more closings (and perhaps displaced students)? Will there be mergers or will the larger chains acquire smaller chains and/or independents? Will the small independent hair dressing schools, massage schools, and business training schools be able to survive? Will more students turn to community colleges? If so, will 25% go on to four-year colleges as they do now?

Will students, who now find online degree programs increasingly attractive, turn to online colleges in even greater numbers?

It will be very interesting and very telling to watch the trends in the fairly immediate future (perhaps 12 months) and in the next few years.