The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions released a report June 24 detailing growth, spending, student debt and “unanswered questions” in for-profit higher education.
The report, which draws on publicly available information to shed light on the scope of the Federal investment in for-profit schools and how these schools are using those taxpayer dollars, seeks to “identify gaps in available information about enrollment, student performance, and loan debt and repayment—gaps that gaps that impede effective oversight.”
The report covers the growing enrollment at for-profit institutions, as well as the growth in federal student aid to the for-profit sector. According to the U.S. Department of Education, the federal student aid going to for-profit institutions has doubled since 1999-2000, with $4.3 billion in Pell grants and $19.6 billion in Federal loans going to for-profit institutions in 2008-09. The report also points out that, while for-profit schools enroll close to 10 percent of all higher education students, they receive approximately 23 percent of Title IV funds.
But the report didn’t just outline the growth in the for-profit education sector—it also focused on the gaps in available data.
Areas with “unknown information” included completion rates, inconsistent reporting of job placement information, incomplete tuition information, and a lack of tracking data for default rates. The report also pointed out no information is available on how privately held institutions are spending their Title IV dollars.
A complete copy of the 14-page report (in PDF format) is available here to view or download.
RELATED: Read commentary from DETC Executive Director Michael Lamber on the current government interest in for-profit education.
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