Wednesday, September 14, 2016

ITT Tech: Proof that profit has no place in education

Riddle me this....

If an education from a "For Profit" educational institution is so expensive how can it be considered worthless?

How can an education costing sometimes 2 to 3 times as much not offer 2 to 3 times the benefit?

It all comes down to greed.

The problem with getting a good education is its cost.  Even if you haven't been victimized by the outrageous tuition and questionable value of a private college, the bottom line is that getting a leg up is going to cost you.

As generations go by the hurdles get higher.  Today without the aid of grants, scholarships and student loans any hope of an education past high school is out of reach.

Enter the "For Profit" education industry.  These are the ITT Tech's, Devry's and University of Phoenix's that promise a more accessible road to success but at a premium price.  The problem here is the profit motive that short-circuits the emphasis on the student in favor of how much money can be extracted from him/her

When you mix profit and education, education suffers.  Profit in education to me is equivalent to profit in retail and retail is all about volume and maximum return with minimal investment.

Maximum return from minimal investment may be fine for paper towels but I don't choose a university the same way I choose the store brand over Brawny!

Students aren't making a minimal investment.  Not of their time, effort or especially their money.  To that end, I'm adamant against painting these students with the same brush as those that have corrupted their institutions.

Forget the term, "diploma mill."  From my own experience I can tell you that while the motives of the "for profits" CEO's may not have been pure the motives of the students were.  Nobody gets on the hook for 5 figures without expecting something for the investment.  That said, education is a personal experience and it's up to you to get as much out of it as you can.

That doesn't absolve a school from their responsibility to provide value, however.  The "for profit" schools often demand sums far in excess of their public university competition for comparable education.

A sum that's often paid in the form of student loans that put the recipient on the hook for thousands of dollars regardless of the quality of the institution.  A process with little oversight that provided billions of dollars to "for profit" schools that didn't deliver on their sales pitch.  So long as the body was in the seat, however, they didn't care because the free flow of taxpayer money was a tap without a shutoff.

At least until now.

With the blatant mismanagement of ITT and Corinthian we see the seedy underside of the "for profit" education industry for what it is. 

That being, profit driven with no more regard for the student than what's required to continue abusing the Federal Student loan programs.

You didn't see that in the glossy brochures or flashy websites, however.  Instead you saw a sales pitch that paints these schools as the light at the end of the tunnel for the disenfranchised led by benevolent philanthropists.

Except that these schools aren't being operated according to some overarching altruism.  We're back to that maximum return for minimum investment thing again.  It was about making as much money as possible for as long as they could get away with it.  Ultimately, leaving the students holding the bag.

And without intervention from some government body they will continue to be holding that bag.  The institution may fail but that doesn't absolve the students from the debt.  

When you have Federal Student Loans the Federal government is your creditor, not the school.  Once the disbursement is made the school has their money.  Even if they go bankrupt you're still on the hook with nothing to show for it.