General Question

bolwerk's avatar

Is there an up-side to private, for-profit colleges?

Asked by bolwerk (10231 points ) March 12th, 2011

Private, for-profit colleges are in vogue. These schools often are online-based, have low standards for applicants, and high drop-out rates. Is there a positive side to them? How easily could someone at one of these schools go on to a more prestigious traditional university? Or are they just a waste of money? Would regulation help?

For some background, The New York Times had an article recently about hearings concerning these schools taking place in the U.S. Senate. Popular examples of these types of schools include the University of Phoenix (off-campus) or DeVry University or Berkeley College (on-campus).

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8 Answers

perspicacious's avatar

Yes, some of the best (especially liberal arts) colleges are private, and often associated with a religious denomination. When it comes to job search, where you go to school matters.

One reason some people choose private college is that the tuition is the same for in or out-of-state students.

talljasperman's avatar

yes If you have the cash you can get past the admission requirements that other institutions have… I’ve been in two of these colleges… I only learned life lessons…and how to deal with disappointment.

stardust's avatar

I’m not in the US, but personally I don’t rate private colleges. People get in based on the cash in their pockets, as opposed to getting in based on merit.
Granted, there’s always an exception to the rule.

perspicacious's avatar

@stardust It’s not the same in the USA. Private colleges often attract the brightest students and are generally very hard to get into.

stardust's avatar

@perspicacious Ah, I see. Apologies if my response came across as offensive. The system here is quite different.

bolwerk's avatar

@perspicacious: I wasn’t talking about private non-profits (e.g., ivy leagues, Duke, Stanford, many smaller ones, some notable, some not). I was talking about private for-profit colleges. Read the description in the question to see what I was talking about.

perspicacious's avatar

@b All private colleges are for profit

bolwerk's avatar

@perspicacious: No, they are not. And even if you’re arguing that they’re just greedy money mills (I can buy that), for-profit refers to a distinct tax status. Something like Harvard or Yale or Humpsheep Bible College is legally an entity designed to fulfill its mission and use any surplus funds it makes towards that goal. It doesn’t redistribute profits to its shareholders. The type of entity I’m talking about truly does.

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