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For - Profit Colleges: Shams or the Real Deal?

For-profit colleges (FPC), are similar to traditional non-profit colleges in that they are often accredited & award undergraduate and graduate degrees. FPCs are schools owned by shareholders & corporations. The revenue FPCs generate comes right back to investors and does not have to be reinvested back to the school; unlike traditional colleges.

FPCs offer accelerated degree programs, which are designed for working individuals and/or non-traditional students (adults 25+). Flexible course deliveries, and assistance with financial aid packages attract adult learners to for-profit colleges.

FPCs typically operate under an open-access model. Meaning there are few admissions barriers and enrollment is simplified and streamlined. For example, FPCs may not require the same standard exams such as the SAT or ACT, as traditional universities. They are much easier to get into, as opposed to more selective colleges. You may recall seeing a daytime commercial or two, where the advertisement specifically is talking to the camera with some colloquial lingo encouraging the audience to "get up off that couch and call us now".

It's no wonder why there is much notoriety surrounding FPCs including class action lawsuits. Between students and advocates claiming fraud, shady recruiting practices, low quality education and poor employment outcomes. Many FPCs have shut down as a result of class action lawsuits and settlements. Graduation rates for FPCs is about 25% lower than the national average. Additionally, students of FPCs account for a large portion of the student-loan debt crises, often leaving students with large debt and no degree. Opponents of the for-profit college sector claim FPCs operate under predatory practices and disproportionately target female and minority populations.

Side note: I completed my dissertation on students who graduated from for-profit colleges. Yes, the majority of my study participants were minority women. However, I did find that although the student loan debt was a major outcome, most of my participants faired quite well post-graduation. If you're interested in learning more about for-profits and my research, click here.

The key is to do your research when considering which colleges apply to and ultimately attend.

Way Finder Educational Consulting can help you start your college journey. Connect for a free 30 minute consultation, call us at 786-496-3091, click on the link below, or email us at

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