For-profit colleges struggle despite assist from DeVos

Apr 8, 2018 by

Washington – The for-profit college industry is struggling under the weight of declining enrollment, stiff competition from traditional universities and an image battered by past misdeeds, even as the Trump administration tries to offer a helping hand.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has hired several industry insiders and frozen Obama-era regulations that would have increased protections for students. She has reduced loan forgiveness relief for some former students defrauded by their schools, meaning that the for-profit industry could be on the hook for less. And she is considering reinstating an ousted oversight agency for many for-profit colleges.

“There is a serious attempt by this department to find that appropriate fair balance for both students and schools,” Steve Gunderson, president of Career Education Colleges and Universities, the industry lobbying group, said in an interview.

But Timothy Lutts, president of the Cabot Wealth Network in Salem, Massachusetts, sees an industry in decline. An improving economy has led to lagging enrollment as adult students return to the workplace instead of seeking a degree to burnish their resumes, he said. For-profit colleges now also compete with nonprofit schools that offer online degree programs without the stigma that still haunts money-making schools.

Source: For-profit colleges struggle despite assist from DeVos

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