Sunday, August 31, 2014

Anthem Bows Out (Inside Higher Ed)

After years of enrollment losses, Anthem Education, a for-profit chain of colleges and career institutes, filed for bankruptcy Monday….
. . .
The Senate report described the company’s aggressive recruiting tactics as among “the most troubling” behaviors the investigation of 30 for-profits had revealed. One Anthem admissions representative would not let an undercover applicant speak with a financial aid representative until after she enrolled. In another instance, an Anthem financial aid worker fraudulently removed $250,000 in listed savings from an undercover applicant’s FAFSA in order to make the applicant eligible for federal loans. For-profit advocates said the Senate report cherry-picked data to cast for-profits in an unflattering light....

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Glenn Roquemore is an embarrassment

     It's quite a college we've got here. Last week, President Glenn Roquemore had a photo op with a rep from among the most scandalous higher ed "for-profits," namely, The U of Phoenix. Apparently, Roquemore doesn't have a clue what that organization represents—namely, hoodwinking young people, and especially veterans, selling them a bill of goods, in order to secure huge sums of taxpayer funds.
     And here's the latest: evidently, Roquemore has arranged for Army recruiters to bring one of their silly fantasy-land, snake oil recruitment "semis" to the college next week (Tuesday, the 2nd of Sept).
     The dang thing will be located in the vast expanse of concrete in front of the cafeteria. (See pic above.)
     It appears that recruiters in Army World have a fleet of semis loaded with the usual infantile and meretricious whizbangery (lasers, weapon simulators, battle simulators, XBOXs, "theme" motorcycles, etc.). —Yes, they've even got an exhibit the centerpiece of which is a fake-military chopper fabricated by those fat-heads at OC Choppers! (See below.)

Naturally, this TV chopper is not used by the Army—except for recruitment. However, says the Army, "its unique features generate positive conversations about the Army." Conversations or fantasies?
     Choppers? Lasers? XBOXs? Cool guns and tony camo? It seems to me that a college should stand for honest critical thinking and a rejection of snake-oil salesmanship. And what could be less honest and more serpentine than the kind of appeal these recruiters lay on young people?
     Here are some relevant photos I found in a document distributed among Army recruiters called Asset [Semi, etc.] User's Guide for Maximizing Accessions. "Accessions," I suppose, is Army-speak for bodies recruited. Recruiters who manage to snag one of these semis for a recruitment event are the "asset users," I guess. What the recruiters are looking for, of course, are hot "leads." That's the language of boiler-room operations.
     It's the language these people use, I kid you not.

Gosh, I wonder what an "Army Story" is?

Did you read that last one? Collecting quality leads!

Have fun shooting at stuff in the Army!
"Leadership activities"?
"Engaging virtual enemies." Yeah.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Clueless IVC Prez Glenn Roquemore smiles as he makes nice with the enemy

Vice President, Western Region, Workforce Solutions/University of Phoenix, Chuck Parker, President, Irvine Valley College, Dr. Glenn R. Roquemore
     Members of the Irvine Valley College community just received this gushing email from the President:
Irvine Valley College Signs Memorandum of Understanding with University of Phoenix 
     Irvine – Irvine Valley College (IVC) administration, faculty and staff held a formal signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University of Phoenix, Inc. (University) on Wednesday, August 20, 2014.
     Irvine Valley College President Glenn Roquemore said, “This partnership will expand the many transfer opportunities available to the IVC students and staff. One of the major benefits of the MOU is the tuition discount."
     Irvine Valley College students transferring to University of Phoenix into an undergraduate baccalaureate degree program … will be considered as having satisfied the general education requirements for the breadth of the liberal arts degree program….
     IVC students get 10% off Phoenix tuition, which is way pricey.
     Evidently, President Roquemore is not aware that entities such as the U of Phoenix exist to make huge profits by taking advantage of students who typically receive federally insured loans, putting them in serious debt. Those students, upon graduating, typically fail to find the work they were expecting and often default on their loans, forcing the taxpayer to pay. (It's a massive bubble that, one day, will pop.)
     You’re fine with all that, are you Glenn? You're a Republican, aren't you? Yeah. I see you smiling with those vets you claim to love!
     Alas, the "predatory for-profits" problem is especially egregious in the case of Vets, who pay their way via the new GI Bill:

GI Bill funds failing for-profit California colleges
(Desert Sun)
The ever-clueless Glenn R
     Over the last five years, more than $600 million in college assistance for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans has been spent on California schools so substandard that they have failed to qualify for state financial aid.
     As a result, the GI Bill — designed to help veterans live the American dream — is supporting for-profit companies that spend lavishly on marketing but can leave veterans with worthless degrees and few job prospects, The Center for Investigative Reporting found.
. . .
     Financial records analyzed by CIR show that California is the national epicenter of this problem, with nearly 2 out of every 3 GI Bill dollars going to for-profit colleges.
     The University of Phoenix in San Diego outdistances its peers. Since 2009, the campus has received $95 million in GI Bill funds. That's more than any brick-and-mortar campus in America, more than the entire 10-campus University of California system and all UC extension programs combined.
. . .
     The school's large share of GI Bill funding reflects more than just the number of veterans enrolling. The programs are expensive. An associate degree costs $395 a credit, for instance — nearly 10 times the cost at a public community college.
     The University of Phoenix won't say how many of its veterans graduate or find jobs, but the overall graduation rate at its San Diego campus is less than 15 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Education, and more than a quarter of students default on their loans within three years of leaving school.
     Those figures fall short of the minimum standards set by the California Student Aid Commission, which dispenses state financial aid. The commission considers either a graduation rate lower than 30 percent or a loan default rate of more than 15.5 percent clear indicators of a substandard education.
     No such restrictions govern GI Bill funds. And nearly 300 California schools that received GI Bill money either were barred from receiving state financial aid at least once in the past four years or operated without accreditation, CIR has found.
. . .
     Of the $1.5 billion in GI Bill funds spent on tuition and fees in California since 2009, CIR found that more than 40 percent — $638 million —went to schools that have failed the state financial aid standard at least once in the past four years.
     Four of those schools were University of Phoenix campuses, which together took in $225 million….
An Enemy In Common? The Case Against For-Profit Colleges
(Cognoscenti [NPR Boston])
… As Americans, we should all be concerned that veterans are being taken advantage of by unscrupulous profiteers. As taxpayers, we should be aware that we are paying for this disservice. Approximately 85-95 percent of the for-profits’ revenue comes from taxpayer-supported benefits….
For-Profit College Investigation--Is the New GI Bill Working?: Questionable For-Profit Colleges Increasingly Dominate the Program
([Senator] Harkin newsletter)

…Senator Harkin's HELP Committee investigation found:
. . .
  • Most for-profit colleges charge much higher tuition than comparable programs at community colleges and flagship State public universities. The investigation found Associate degree and certificate programs averaged four times the cost of degree programs at comparable community colleges. Bachelor's degree programs averaged 20 percent more than the cost of analogous programs at flagship public universities despite the credits being largely non-transferrable.
  • Because 96 percent of students starting a for-profit college take federal student loans to attend a for-profit college (compared to 13 percent at community colleges), nearly all students who leave have student loan debt, even when they don't have a degree or diploma or increased earning power.
  • Students who attended a for-profit college accounted for 47 percent of all Federal student loan defaults in 2008 and 2009. More than 1 in 5 students enrolling in a for-profit college-22 percent-default within 3 years of entering repayment on their student loans....

Hey-Diddly-Ho, Neighbor!
     Oldie but Goodie [2012]: See Senator Harkin’s For-Profit College Investigation: U of Phoenix