Report: Students Better Served by Public Colleges, Than by For-Profits

As for-profit colleges have come under fire over the past several years, the industry defended the low graduation and job placement rates and some of its schools by arguing that these colleges serve the riskiest students who might not otherwise have access to a degree.

It’s true that for-profit colleges educate single parents, women, minority, low-income and other students with many obstacles in the way of getting a college education — an admirable or predatory practice, depending on who is looking at it. But a new study suggests that for-profit colleges actually do worse by these students.

Students who attend four-year, for-profit colleges take out one more federal loan on average than their public school counterparts and borrow at least $3,300 more, according to a study distributed by the National Bureau of Economic Research this week.

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