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Senator to probe spending at for-profit colleges

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Sen. Tom Harkin, chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, said he plans to hold hearings to examine the surge in federal grants and loans flowing to for-profit colleges in the U.S.

The committee will probe the “rapid growth of federal investment” in the industry and “the corresponding opportunities and risks for students and taxpayers,” Harkin, an Iowa Democrat, said in a statement Thursday on his website.

Apollo Group Inc.’s University of Phoenix, ITT Educational Services Inc., Career Education Corp. and other for-profit educators are under increasing federal scrutiny over their recruitment practices and the level of student loan defaults. President Barack Obama’s administration is proposing tougher regulation of the companies because of concern that recruiters are signing up unqualified students and leaving them with loans they may be unable to repay. For-profit colleges receive more than $20 billion a year in federal student grants and loans, Harkin said in his statement. The hearings are scheduled to begin June 24 in Washington.

“We need to ensure for-profit colleges are working well to meet the needs of students and not just shareholders,” Harkin said. “We owe it to students and taxpayers to make sure these dollars are being well spent.”

The number of students attending for-profit colleges in the U.S. rose to 1.8 million in 2008, from 550,000 in 1998, according to Harkin’s statement. One in five students who left a for-profit college in 2007 defaulted on the loan within three years, Harkin said, citing U.S. Department of Education statistics.

For-profit institutions are making advances in postsecondary education, said Harris Miller, president of the Washington-based Career College Association, which represents more than 1,400 for-profit colleges, in a statement today.

“These hearings will give our inclusive educational institutions an opportunity to address myths with facts and figures.”

For-profit colleges cater to lower-income and minority students, and higher default rates reflect graduates’ socioeconomic backgrounds rather than the colleges the students attend, according to a study released April 2 by the industry association.

The for-profit colleges are lobbying against the Education Department’s proposed rule changes, which are expected to be issued for public comment as soon as next week. The regulations would cut federal aid to for-profit colleges whose students have starting salaries that make it difficult to repay their federal loans. The government would also tighten restrictions on tying recruiters’ pay to the number of students enrolled.

 

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  1. Socialized medicine works great for white people in Scandanavia. It works well in Costa Rica for a population that is partly white and partly mestizo. I don't really see Obamacare as something aimed against whites. I think that is a Republican canard designed to elicit support from white people for republican candidates who don't care about them any more than democrats care about the non-whites they pander to with their phony maneuvers. But what is different between Costa Rica nd the Scandanavian nations on one hand and the US on the other? SIZE. Maybe the US is just too damn big. Maybe it just needs to be divided into smaller self governing pieces like when the old Holy Roman Empire was dismantled. Maybe we are always trying the same set of solutions for different kinds of people as if we were all the same. Oh-- I know-- that is liberal dogma, that we are all the same. Which is the most idiotic American notion going right back to the propaganda of 1776. All men are different and their differences are myriad and that which is different is not equal. The state which pretends men are all the same is going to force men to be the same. That is what America does here, that is what we do in our stupid overseas wars, that is how we destroy true diversity and true difference, and we are all as different groups of folks, feeling the pains of how capitalism is grinding us down into equally insignificant proletarian microconsumers with no other identity whether we like it or not. And the Marxists had this much right about the War of Independence: it was fundamentally a war of capitalist against feudal systems. America has been about big money since day one and whatever gets in the way is crushed. Health care is just another market and Obamacare, to the extent that it Rationalizes and makes more uniform a market which should actually be really different in nature and delivery from place to place-- well that will serve the interests of the biggest capitalist stakeholders in health care which is not Walmart for Gosh Sakes it is the INSURANCE INDUSTRY. CUI BONO Obamacare? The insurance industry. So republicans drop the delusion pro capitalist scales from your eyes this has almost nothing to do with race or "socialism" it has to do mostly with what the INSURANCE INDUSTRY wants to have happen in order to make their lives and profits easier.

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