New Study by The Center for College Affordability and Productivity

Today, The Center for College Affordability and Productivity released a study on for-profit higher education. The study found that industry leaders aim to create value for their students by “employing cost-effective strategies to meet market demand.” Supported by Lumina Foundation, the report also found:

‘The single characteristic that most sets for-profit institutions of higher learning apart from the traditional sectors of higher education is the profit motive,’ and economic theory suggests that for-profit schools ‘can only make a profit by providing educational services that are in high demand…[and by providing] something of value for the customer.’


I found this study interesting in its conclusion that the for-profit industry provides a valuable service to students. At a time when many critics are calling for major reforms of the industry, this study found that private sector schools were doing their best to give students the best possible educational experience.


“Tight Spot” for For-Profits?

On Monday, Kelly Field, The Chronicle of Higher Ed’s chief Washington reporter, and Sara Hebel, The Chronicle’s politics editor, came together to discuss the recently released Gainful Employment rule. The conversation highlighted the implications of the rule, focusing on the institutions and the individuals that would be affected.

According to Hebel, the rule would “reign in high levels of borrowing for some profit-based colleges,” and would put strict limits on student borrowing. Unfortunately, the rule will have serious negative consequences for the students who rely on financial aid the most – minority students, single parents, and working adults. We should focus our efforts – and so should the Department of Education – on constructing opportunities for success, rather than building obstacles to it.