The for-profit college industry collected $32 billion in taxpayer dollars in 2010, thanks to the student aid dollars attached to its students. A lucrative new source for dollars came on line with adoption of the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill. In its first year, for-profit universities took in $640 million from G.I. benefits.
That's made veterans an attractive target for the for-profit recruiters, with special events designed to target potential students who come not only with federal aid resources, but also serve as a loophole for the 90-10 rule. The rule stipulates that at least 10 percent of the colleges' revenue come from nonfederal sources, but military aid is exempt. That allows the for-profit schools to enroll nine civilian students for every veteran they recruit.
The Fort Wayne campus of National College, a Virginia-based for-profit college, advertised an event Wednesday featuring Congressman Marlin Stutzman and Mayor Tom Henry. The mayor bowed out when we asked about his participation on Monday; the congressman's staff announced on Tuesday that Stutzman wouldn't attend. David Halperin, blogging at Huffington Post, took note of the congressman's change of heart.
I've written often about the for-profit college industry, including this look at Brown Mackie College last December.
Every article brings a response from a student or parent who seems to have had a bad experience with a for-profit school.
Sen. Tom Harkin's committee report on the industry deserves some serious attention in the current election season.