For many students, the path toward enrolling in a for-profit college starts with an advertisement—maybe while browsing online or watching a favorite television show. Either way, the message is usually the same: Get off the couch and do something with your life.
The ads feature compelling and relatable stories: A young—or perhaps middle-aged—African-American stuck in a dead-end job and looking for change. A single mother trying to provide a better life for her children. A military veteran contemplating next steps after returning home. When prospective students stumble upon ads that catch their eye, they might make a quick phone call or send an email for a brochure.