What Comes After the For-Profits’ “Lehman Brothers” Moment?

Just as the fall of Lehman Brothers in 2008 heralded a much larger economic crash, the September shuttering of the ITT Technical Institute chain of for-profit colleges signals a broad crisis in higher education. ITT, which taught electronics, computer-based design, criminal justice and other careers to 45,000 Americans last year, had collected $5 billion in federal aid since 2010. Last month, citing failures of financial responsibility and federal fraud charges, the Department of Education tightened its oversight of ITT by requiring the school to boost its cash reserves. That ultimately led to its shuttering.

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