It is absolutely stunning that the for-profit colleges' chief lobbyist, Steve Gunderson, told a reporter today that a new Obama Administration proposed rule -- a rule that would finally give students and taxpayers some leverage to recover payments for abuses by predatory schools -- "will crush career education."
While many of the big predatory colleges quit APSCU after the group failed in its lobbying mission, some honest owners of better-performing, often smaller, career colleges have told me they had already left in disgust because the group had become so dominated by arrogant, misbehaving schools and owners.
Gunderson's letter, co-signed by APSCU's board chair, Roger Dalton, Vice President of American National University, opens ominously: "This letter may be as significant as any communication you have received from your Association in many years." The letter paints a dark landscape for the for-profit college sector, and a bleak-ish picture of APSCU's health.
With APSCU leading the effort to overturn the Obama administration's "gainful employment rule," and with the collapse of Corinthian raising issues about how to protect students when predatory for-profit colleges fail, it's crucial to understand that this industry signs up many of its students through blatant deceptions.
Who is operating all these scam websites, aimed at tricking struggling people into getting on sales calls for for-profit colleges? And when will the big for-profit colleges linked to these operations -- companies that get 85 to 90 percent of their revenues from taxpayers -- tell us the truth about how they do their business?
The operations may well be in violation of federal statutes prohibiting deceptive marketing and unwanted telephone sales calls, as well as DOE laws and regulations barring payment of sales commissions to college recruiters. At the very least, they are guilty of using sleazy tactics to sell poor-quality products.