|GOP defends 'em—no crackdown|
…It questions whether federal investment through aid and loans is worthwhile in many of the examined colleges.
The investigation found that large numbers of students at for-profits fail to earn credentials, citing a 64 percent dropout rate in associate degree programs, for example. It also links those high dropout rates to the relatively small amount of money for-profits spend on instruction.
For-profits “devote tremendous amounts of resources to non-education related spending,” the report said, with the sector spending more revenue on both marketing and profit-sharing than on instruction….
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Republican staff members also contributed a dissent to the report, saying it is “indisputable that significant problems exist” at some for-profits, but that the investigation was not conducted in a bipartisan manner….
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In the absence of “significant reforms,” the report said the “sector will continue to turn out hundreds of thousands of students with debt but no degree.”
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The enclosed profiles of for-profit companies detail problems the investigation uncovered in areas such as student recruiting, substandard academic offerings, high tuition and executive compensation, low student retention rates and the issuance of credentials of questionable value…. (See Results Are In: Harkin releases critical report on for-profits)
SEE ALSO End of the Beginning (Inside Higher Ed)
"Sen. Tom Harkin’s two-year investigation of for-profit higher education has ended, and was capped with a four-tome final report that many -- at least critics of the industry -- see as definitive. The for-profit policy battle is far from over, however, although it probably won’t fire up again until 2013."