Editorial — Bettsey L. Barhorst: Review for-profit college report before picking school

August 6, 2012

From Madison.com:  Editorial — Bettsey L. Barhorst:  Review for-profit college report before picking school — Last week, the findings of a two-year investigation of the for-profit higher education industry were released.

At best, the report documents predatory recruiting practices and “gaming regulations to maximize profits” at the expense of taxpayers. At worst, the report reveals that these colleges place the desire to fatten their bottom line above the interests of students.

As an institution that is publicly funded, we take offense to that. So should every taxpayer.

Madison College’s mission is to provide accessible, high-quality learning experiences that serve the community. We do that by offering tuition that is 75 percent less than that of the average for-profit college.

We prepare students with the skills and knowledge they need to join the workforce. More than 89 percent of students trained at Madison College are employed within six months, compared to 77 percent of those trained at for-profit schools.

And we invest heavily in programs and services that support student success — not in salespeople and glitzy advertising to recruit students who will assume massive, long-term debt.

The report is available on the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee website (search for Harkin report). It outlines many other startling contrasts between for-profit colleges and those that are publicly funded.

Selecting a college is among the most important decisions one will ever make. Choose wisely.

— Bettsey L. Barhorst, president,

Madison College

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