With more than $30 billion a year in taxpayer money going to the for-profit college industry, the shady world of generating leads of potential students is a thousand-headed regenerating hydra, and I am only beginning to discover that a lot more information is hiding in plain sight.
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.
The complaint repeats many of the claims from APSCU's suit to strike down the 2011 gainful employment rule: that the DOE didn't have the authority to issue such a rule; that the Department has not provided a reasoned basis for the rule; and that the rule is "unlawful, arbitrary, and irrational."
The administration had the opportunity, through a strong gainful employment rule, to demand here and now that federal aid only go to career education programs that were truly helping their students. It didn't seize the chance.
Even though the for-profit college industry continues to pour campaign contributions into Capitol Hill coffers, I haven't found any 2014 candidates out there who, like the 2012 Romney, have affirmatively stressed their support for the industry.
It's a critical moment for the public to take another close look at this industry, which now has 13 percent of all U.S. college students and swallows more than a quarter of federal aid -- over $30 billion a year in taxpayer money. It's also a critical moment for President Obama to stand up for fiscal responsibility.
Last week it was reported that the Pentagon placed Globe University and Minnesota School of Business on probation and the schools were barred from receiving some military educational benefits.
A federal grand jury has indicted the former owner-CEO and three other ex-staff of Miami-based FastTrain College, a for-profit school that had ties to Florida Members of Congress before the FBI raided its campuses in 2012.
For MOOCs to seriously challenge traditional universities (not just the online lecture circuit) they need to offer an enticing reward to push students through the drudgery.
The mantra is everywhere: a college education is the only way to climb out of poverty and create a better life. For-profit schools allow Wall Street investors and corporate executives to cash in on this faith.
It's hard to square Orman's initial denial with the admission that immediately followed. Perhaps it was a lawyerish parsing -- "it depends on what the meaning of 'at' is."
This past Friday, Bill Maher announced Rep John Kline as the winner of his #FlipADistrict Campaign, a contest which Maher created to find the worst representative in the country and oust them from office.
Now that Corinthian, which was taking in as much as $1.4 billion a year in taxpayer dollars, is collapsing under the weight of law enforcement probes and bad student outcomes, I worry that a prolonged focus on its horrid acts might allow other terrible actors in the for-profit college industry to sneak out the back door.
In a single week, two of America's best comedic truth-tellers -- John Oliver and Bill Maher -- hit hard against the predatory for-profit colleges that rip off taxpayers and ruin students' lives.
What is striking is that APSCU not only demanded a super-sized contingent of for-profit college representatives on the panel but also proposed for membership some of the most abusive for-profit college companies.
Much like car title loan companies and paycheck lending companies, for profit colleges prey on poor and minority students, saddle them with debt, and leave them with only debt, as their degree is often worthless in the job market.