Monthly Archives: April 2011

STUDENT LOAN DEBT PROTEST!

UNITED WE STAND, DIVIDED WE FALL! In protest of the nearly $1 trillion dollar student loan debt bubble and your ASTRONOMICAL student loan debt that’s growing bigger by the day!Apply for an UNAUTHORIZED SIGNATURE / UNAUTHORIZED PAYMENT false certification loan discharge  The nearly $1 trillion dollar student loan debt, the $1500/month interest only payment, the double in some cases almost triple outstanding principle amount owing, etc. is due to the following:

Bank FFELP lenders partnered with loan guaranty agencies and student loan servicers to create student loan brokerage firms aka special purpose entities the majority of which were incorporated in State of Florida. For example, Student Loan Xpress, Goal Financial, K2 Financial, Education Finance Partners, US Education Finance etc. Kinda like the storefront mortgage companies and unlicensed brokers, think Enron’s LJM2, the Raptors, Chewco etc .  The bank ffelp lenders, servicers and guaranty agencies used the student loan brokerage companies to access and repeatedly access students’ personal information, nslds, and credit reports for what they claimed were Marketing or Promotional Purposes. If you don’t believe me then just check your credit reports from 2006-2008. I bet you’ll have 3 ‘Promotional Purpose’ pages that are all student loan companies.

Unfortunately, they weren’t accessing your reports for marketing purposes as they claimed. They were accessing the reports for your personal information which they unlawfully used to originate federal consolidation loans. The consolidation loans were then purchased by student loan servicers/guaranty agencies from lenders on the Federal Family Education Loan Program secondary market.  The servicers/guaranty agencies issued tax-exempt bonds to obtain funds to acquire loans.  Billions of such bonds issued prior to October 1, 1993, were outstanding.  The servicers/guaranty agencies  bills the U.S. Department of Education for 9.5 percent special allowance payments on the loans it purchases, holds, and services.  

For example, in April 2003, Nelnet implemented a process (“Project 950”) to increase the amount of its loans receiving special allowance [taxpayer subsidy payments] under the 9.5 percent floor. . . . Nelnet repeated this process many times, increasing the amount of loans it billed under the 9.5 percent floor from about $551 million in March 2003 to about $3.66 billion in June 2004. PHEAA did it too! Guess how they did it? You guessed it, by partnering with lenders to create student loan brokerage firms, special purpose entities and special purpose vehicles that unlawfully used your personal information to create federal consolidation loans. The lenders then used the fraudulent consolidations loans to replace loans that defeased, were repaid or discharged in their 9.5 percent floor loan securitized trusts and student loan revenue bonds. Consequently, because the federal consolidation loans were unlawfully created by the student loan brokerage firms (lenders + servicers + guaranty agencies) theft of your personal information they are not valid obligations; thus they are not enforceable! So, in protest of the nearly $1 trillion dollar student loan debt bubble and your ASTRONOMICAL student loan debt that’s growing bigger by the day pull your NSLDS report highlight that fraudulent loan, complete an UNAUTHORIZED SIGNATURE / UNAUTHORIZED PAYMENT false certification discharge form, and send it to fraudnet@gao.gov!

Don’t forget to name your lender, servicer, and guaranty agency on the discharge form and attach your NSLDS report with showing the fraudulent consolidation loan you never applied for or agreed to!

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Fitch Rates SLC Student Loan Trust: The Student Loan Bubble is Beginning to LEAK!

FYI an OUTLOOK NEGATIVE RATING USUALLY MEANS THEY DISCOVERED FRAUDULENT LOANS IN THE TRUST 
April 28, 2011 02:47 PM Eastern Daylight Time

Fitch Affirms Ratings on SLC Private Student Loan Trust 2006-A

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Fitch Ratings has affirmed ratings on the Student Loan Corporation (SLC) Private Student Loan Trust 2006-A senior class A, subordinate class B and junior subordinate class C notes issued by the Student Loan Corporation. The Rating Outlook remains Negative. Fitch’s Global Structured Finance Rating Criteria and Private Student Loan Asset-Backed Securities (ABS) Criteria were used to review the transaction. The rating actions are detailed at the end of this press release.

The calculated loss coverage multiples for the class A, class B and class C notes are sufficient to maintain the current ratings. The Outlook remains Negative because of Fitch’s negative view of the private student loan sector in general.

The rating affirmations are based on a loss coverage multiples commensurate with the notes’ current assigned ratings and are based on the collateral performance data as of March 31, 2011. A loss coverage multiple was determined by comparing projected net loss amount to available credit enhancement. Fitch used historical vintage loss data provided by SLC to form a loss timing curve representative of the series 2006-A collateral pool. After giving credit for seasoning of loans in repayment, Fitch applied the trust’s current cumulative gross loss level to this loss timing curve to derive the expected gross losses over the projected remaining life. A recovery rate was applied, which was determined to be appropriate based on the latest data provided by the issuer.

Credit enhancement consists of excess spread, a reserve fund, overcollateralization and subordination. Fitch assumed excess spread to be the lesser of the average historical excess spread (earnings on the assets minus interest payments to bondholders and fees) and the most recent 12-month average excess spread, and applied that same rate over the stressed projection of remaining life.

The collateral supporting the SLC Private Student Loan Trust 2006-A note consists entirely of private student. The private student loans are intended to assist individuals in financing their undergraduate or graduate education beyond what the FFELP affords. The private loans are available to students enrolled in or recently graduated from graduate-level certificate or degree programs. Loan proceeds are used by students to finance a portion of the costs of attending law school, medical school, dental school, graduate business school, and other graduate schools, as well as preparing for and taking state bar examinations or participating in a medical residency program.

As of December 31, 2010, Discover Financial Services acquired SLC and its servicing operations for private student loans. SLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Discover Financial Services, will continue to act as the primary servicer and administrator for the trust and Citibank (South Dakota) National Association will continue to act as sub-servicer.

Fitch affirms the SLC Private Student Loan Trust 2006-A notes as follows:

–Senior class A-4 affirmed at ‘AAAsf’; Outlook Negative;
–Senior class A-5 affirmed at ‘AAAsf’; Outlook Negative;
–Subordinate class B affirmed at ‘AAsf’; Outlook Negative.
–Junior Subordinate class C affirmed at ‘Asf’; Outlook Negative.

Senior class A-3 notes have been paid in full.

Additional information is available at www.fitchratings.com.

Applicable Criteria and Related Research:
–‘U.S. Private Student Loan ABS Criteria’ (Aug. 24, 2009);
–‘Global Structured Finance Rating Criteria’ (Aug. 16, 2010).

Applicable Criteria and Related Research:
U.S. Private Student Loan ABS Criteria
http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=463174
Global Structured Finance Rating Criteria
http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=547326

ALL FITCH CREDIT RATINGS ARE SUBJECT TO CERTAIN LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS. PLEASE READ THESE LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS BY FOLLOWING THIS LINK: HTTP://FITCHRATINGS.COM/UNDERSTANDINGCREDITRATINGS. IN ADDITION, RATING DEFINITIONS AND THE TERMS OF USE OF SUCH RATINGS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE AGENCY’S PUBLIC WEBSITE WWW.FITCHRATINGS.COM. PUBLISHED RATINGS, CRITERIA AND METHODOLOGIES ARE AVAILABLE FROM THIS SITE AT ALL TIMES. FITCH’S CODE OF CONDUCT, CONFIDENTIALITY, CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, AFFILIATE FIREWALL, COMPLIANCE AND OTHER RELEVANT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES ARE ALSO AVAILABLE FROM THE ‘CODE OF CONDUCT’ SECTION OF THIS SITE.

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Student Securities! You and Your Student Loans Belong to an Investor!

Mortgage Backed Security

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MUST READ Article @ N+1: Bad Education that fully explains Student Loan Asset Backed Securities;  why you’re loan balance is growing every month despite your payments and; why lenders prefer delinquent borrowers and borrowers who default over borrowers who pay on time.

“What kind of incentives motivate lenders to continue awarding six-figure sums to teenagers facing both the worst youth unemployment rate in decades and an increasingly competitive global workforce?

During the expansion of the housing bubble, lenders felt protected because they could repackage risky loans as mortgage-backed securities, which sold briskly to a pious market that believed housing prices could only increase. By combining slices of regionally diverse loans and theoretically spreading the risk of default, lenders were able to convince independent rating agencies that the resulting financial products were safe bets. They weren’t. But since this wouldn’t be America if you couldn’t monetize your children’s futures, the education sector still has its equivalent: the Student Loan Asset-Backed Security (or, as they’re known in the industry, SLABS).

SLABS were invented by then-semi-public Sallie Mae in the early ’90s, and their trading grew as part of the larger asset-backed security wave that peaked in 2007. In 1990, there were $75.6 million of these securities in circulation; at their apex, the total stood at $2.67 trillion. The number of SLABS traded on the market grew from $200,000  in 1991 to near $250 billion by the fourth quarter of 2010…..

Even with the Treasury no longer acting as co-signer on private loans, the flow of SLABS won’t end any time soon. What analysts at Barclays Capital wrote of the securities in 2006 still rings true: “For this sector, we expect sustainable growth in new issuance volume as the growth in education costs continues to outpace increases in family incomes, grants, and federal loans.” The loans and costs are caught in the kind of dangerous loop that occurs when lending becomes both profitable and seemingly risk-free: high and increasing college costs mean students need to take out more loans, more loans mean more securities lenders can package and sell, more selling means lenders can offer more loans with the capital they raise, which means colleges can continue to raise costs. The result is over $800 billion in outstanding student debt, over 30 percent of it securitized, and the federal government directly or indirectly on the hook for almost all of it.

If this sounds familiar, it probably should, and the parallels with the pre-crisis housing market don’t end there……”

Read the rest of the article at NPLUSONE MAG

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STUDENT LOAN DEBT PROTEST!

Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corp. Image by D...

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UNITED WE STAND, DIVIDED WE FALL! In protest of the nearly $1 trillion dollar student loan debt bubble and your ASTRONOMICAL student loan debt that’s growing bigger by the day!Apply for an UNAUTHORIZED SIGNATURE / UNAUTHORIZED PAYMENT false certification loan discharge  The nearly $1 trillion dollar student loan debt, the $1500/month interest only payment, the double in some cases almost triple outstanding principle amount owing, etc. is due to the following:

Bank FFELP lenders partnered with loan guaranty agencies and student loan servicers to create student loan brokerage firms aka special purpose entities the majority of which were incorporated in State of Florida. For example, Student Loan Xpress, Goal Financial, K2 Financial, Education Finance Partners, US Education Finance etc. Kinda like the storefront mortgage companies and unlicensed brokers, think Enron’s LJM2, the Raptors, Chewco etc .  The bank ffelp lenders, servicers and guaranty agencies used the student loan brokerage companies to access and repeatedly access students’ personal information, nslds, and credit reports for what they claimed were Marketing or Promotional Purposes. If you don’t believe me then just check your credit reports from 2006-2008. I bet you’ll have 3 ‘Promotional Purpose’ pages that are all student loan companies.

Unfortunately, they weren’t accessing your reports for marketing purposes as they claimed. They were accessing the reports for your personal information which they unlawfully used to originate federal consolidation loans. The consolidation loans were then purchased by student loan servicers/guaranty agencies from lenders on the Federal Family Education Loan Program secondary market.  The servicers/guaranty agencies issued tax-exempt bonds to obtain funds to acquire loans.  Billions of such bonds issued prior to October 1, 1993, were outstanding.  The servicers/guaranty agencies  bills the U.S. Department of Education for 9.5 percent special allowance payments on the loans it purchases, holds, and services.  

For example, in April 2003, Nelnet implemented a process (“Project 950”) to increase the amount of its loans receiving special allowance [taxpayer subsidy payments] under the 9.5 percent floor. . . . Nelnet repeated this process many times, increasing the amount of loans it billed under the 9.5 percent floor from about $551 million in March 2003 to about $3.66 billion in June 2004. PHEAA did it too! Guess how they did it? You guessed it, by partnering with lenders to create student loan brokerage firms, special purpose entities and special purpose vehicles that unlawfully used your personal information to create federal consolidation loans. The lenders then used the fraudulent consolidations loans to replace loans that defeased, were repaid or discharged in their 9.5 percent floor loan securitized trusts and student loan revenue bonds. Consequently, because the federal consolidation loans were unlawfully created by the student loan brokerage firms (lenders + servicers + guaranty agencies) theft of your personal information they are not valid obligations; thus they are not enforceable! So, in protest of the nearly $1 trillion dollar student loan debt bubble and your ASTRONOMICAL student loan debt that’s growing bigger by the day pull your NSLDS report highlight that fraudulent loan, complete an UNAUTHORIZED SIGNATURE / UNAUTHORIZED PAYMENT false certification discharge form, and send it to fraudnet@gao.gov!

Don’t forget to name your lender, servicer, and guaranty agency on the discharge form and attach your NSLDS report with showing the fraudulent consolidation loan you never applied for or agreed to!

UNITED WE STAND, DIVIDED WE FALL!!!

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Student Loans And For-Profit Colleges: “They’re Worse Than You Think” – OpEd

University of Phoenix

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Written by: Mike Whitney

Student loans are a big business. In fact, student debt now exceeds $895 billion which is more than the total Americans owe on their credit cards. And, most of these loans are underwritten by the US government, which means that the taxpayer is on the hook when students can’t repay the debt. This is a big problem, because many of the people taking out loans are not really qualified for college, so they end up dropping out of school and defaulting on their loans putting themselves in long-term debt while passing the bill along to Uncle Sam. But not everyone loses on the deal. In fact, the institutions that help unqualified applicants get loans, do quite well. After all, they’re paid in full by the government. If this sounds like it might be a scam; it’s because it is. All the recruiters need to do is find a credulous subject, bamboozle him into signing on the dotted line, and hold his hand for the first few weeks of the new semester.That’s all it takes to net a big government payout.

Here’s a rundown of how it works from an article by Chris Kirkham at the Huffington Post:

“The goal, employees say, is getting “starts”: students who fill out the paperwork for student loans and make it through at least four weeks of their first five-week course. That is the point at which the university is able to keep the student’s federal aid money, regardless of whether they continue their studies. After that, according to the Ashford employees, any form of counseling drastically drops off.

“There were numerous times when I enrolled students and thought, ‘All I’ve got to do is babysit them for four weeks,’” said a former leader in the admissions department, who spoke on the condition that he not be identified because he is still employed at another for-profit university. “I’d be thinking, ‘Come on, this person is clearly not ready to go to school.’ But I’d call you, pump you up, keep you confident for four weeks, and once I knew you completed, you were forgotten. It’s easy when I’m counting the money.” …

According to the Ashford employees, the pressure drives recruiters to enroll students who they know have little chance of success: people who openly say they have no regular access to a computer or the Internet, despite the exclusively online course offerings, and even those who acknowledge they have difficulty reading.

Bridgepoint has among the highest withdrawal rates of any publicly traded school in the industry, according to a Senate report last year. Based on a pool of students examined between 2008 and 2009, more than 80 percent of those in an associate’s degree program had exited within two years of enrollment, and nearly 65 percent of bachelor’s degree students had left the company’s schools in the same timeframe.

Last year, Bridgepoint posted its best year ever: netting income of more than $127 million, almost triple the year before. The company spends about 37 percent of operating costs related to education; the rest goes to marketing, corporate compensation and overhead.” (“Buying Legitimacy: How A Group Of California Executives Built An Online College Empire”, Chris Kirkham, Huffington Post)

Nice, eh? Just sign them up, dupe them into believing you care about their future, and then fleece ‘em til they bleed. Cha-ching; in rolls the money from Uncle Sugar. But aren’t we blaming the wrong people? Shouldn’t the young people who took out the loans be responsible for their own actions? After all, no one put a gun to their head and forced them to sign, right?

It’s a persuasive argument–and one that’s been used many times by industry lobbyists and their lackeys in congress–but it’s easy to disprove once we take a look at the victims in this swindle.

So, who are the victims? Well, as it turns out, quite a few of them are hard-luck cases and ex-military personnel who were hoodwinked by smooth-talking recruiters into signing their lives away. For example, here’s a clip from an article that appeared in Bloomberg in 2010:

“Benson Rollins wants a college degree. The unemployed high school dropout who attends Alcoholics Anonymous and has been homeless for 10 months is being courted by the University of Phoenix. Two of its recruiters got themselves invited to a Cleveland shelter last October and pitched the advantages of going to the country’s largest for-profit college to 70 destitute men.

Their visit spurred the 23-year-old Rollins to fill out an online form expressing interest. Phoenix salespeople then barraged him with phone calls and e-mails, urging a tour of its Cleveland campus. “If higher education is important to you for professional growth, and to achieve your academic goals, why wait any longer? Classes start soon and space is limited,” one Phoenix employee e-mailed him on April 15. “I’ll be happy to walk you through the entire application process.”

Rollins’s experience is increasingly common. The boom in for-profit education, driven by a political consensus that all Americans need more than a high school diploma, has intensified efforts to recruit the homeless, Bloomberg Businessweek magazine reports in its May 3 issue. Such disadvantaged students are desirable because they qualify for federal grants and loans, which are largely responsible for the prosperity of for-profit colleges….

Other schools see nothing wrong with reaching out to the disadvantaged. “We don’t exclusively target the homeless,” says Ziad Fadel, chief executive of Drake, which also sends recruiters to welfare and employment agencies…

While many caseworkers for the homeless are gratified by the attention, some see only exploitation. The companies “are preying upon people who are already vulnerable and can’t make it through a university,” says Sara Cohen, a case manager at Shelter Now in Meriden, Conn. “It’s evil.” (“Homeless High School Dropouts Lured by For-Profit Colleges”, Bloomberg)

So, is this a legitimate business that’s adding educated people to the workforce or just a scam that targets vulnerable young people in order to bilk the government out of billions of dollars?

Keep in mind, the Bloomberg story is not exceptional at all; there are loads of similar stories on the Internet. Here’s an excerpt from an article by Peter Fenn who fills in some of the important details:

“In just a few years, however, enrollment (in for-profit colleges) went from 365,000 to 1.8 million students. Marketing madness resembled March Madness for these schools, and many more new ones were established. Slick TV ads and thousands of marketers were hired. Returning vets were targeted, even at hospitals.

The key: Bring in millions from Pell grants and student loans. Taxpayer money.

By 2009, these for-profit schools were raking it in—$4 billion in Pell grants and $20 billion in student loans provided by the Department of Education. Over 80 percent of the revenue for the for-profits came from federal loans and grants.

In many cases, these were shell games. No campuses, few classrooms, and little interaction with teachers, but make no mistake about it, they were not cheap. Students were told they could get loans and grants and just send in the checks.

So, how was all this working? Graduation rates for private colleges are about 65 percent, for state schools about 55 percent, and for the for-profit colleges? Twenty-two percent.

Houston, we have a problem.” (“Congress Should Put a Stop to For-Profit College Rip Offs”, Peter Fenn, US News)

Huh? So, for-profit colleges are netting $24 billion from the government and only graduating 22% of their students? It’s mindbogglingly. Fenn continues:

“The top executives for the top 15 for-profit colleges pulled in $2 billion last year. Two billion dollars, practically all taxpayer money.

And that student loan money?—the default rate at these for-profits is 43 percent!

So, only 22 percent graduate and 43 percent default on the loans, leaving us holding the bag because students have been sold a bill of goods by slick marketers.” (“Congress Should Put a Stop to For-Profit College Rip Offs”, Peter Fenn, US News)

Can you believe it: “43 percent default on their loans”? That’s got to be some kind of record. Good grief, at the peak of the subprime fiasco the loans were only blowing up at a 6 percent rate. This is 7-times bigger than subprime. And we’re not talking chump-change either. There’s hundreds of billions involved in this Ponzi-scam. And on top of that, the Fed has been using the distorted numbers from this flimflam to show that a credit expansion is underway. Here’s what they said in the recently released Credit Report: :

“The new U.S. consumer credit numbers reflect an economy that is reaccelerating, and that is very bullish for growth — as well as inflation. All in all, U.S. household credit surged by $7.62 billion in February, ramping up faster than at any other time since June 2008.” (Hat tip to The Big Picture)

What a joke. The taxpayer is getting reamed and the Fed is boasting about a “recovery”. Go figure? The only area of credit that’s budging at all (apart from subprime auto loans) is student loans, which are experiencing a veritable goldrush as every scoundrel, scalawag and miscreant flocks to get a piece of the action. These chiselers know that these kids will never be able to repay their loans. In fact, they make more money when they’re delinquent. They just jack up the interest rate and grab what they can before crying “Default” and gouge the government for the balance of the loan. What a swindle.

The GOP-led congress is up to their eyeballs in this crookery. They’ve been using every trick in the book to protect their fatcat buddies by blocking the implementation of regulations that would prevent gullible students from being plucked-clean by cheesebag recruiters. The Republicans would rather defend the “inalienable right” of shifty recruiters to rip off students then save the taxpayer hundreds of billions of dollars.

Boy, these guys really stink.


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Admissions Rep Sues Pennsylvania Trade School

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Pennco Tech admitted every student who applied, suit charges

04/19/2011 | Truman Lewis | ConsumerAffairs.com

An admissions rep at Pennco Tech, a trade school in Bristol, Pa., claims the school fired him for refusing to participate in a racketeering scheme that ensured that every student who applied would be enrolled.

Matthew Hamilton claims the scam was so blatant that a senior admissions rep “had to physically stand over the students to make sure they were entering the correct answers” on entrance exams.

Hamilton’s suit is just the latest in a lengthy series of lawsuits and allegations that many for-profit schools are providing nearly-worthless degrees and certificates while burdening students with large debts that they are unlikely to repay.

Hamilton’s study alleges that during his one and a half years at the school, test results were falsified, students were misled and the government and lending institutions were defrauded. Hamilton said some students had learning disabilities so severe that admissions staff “had to physically stand over them to make sure they were entering the correct answers,” even though accrediting requirements prohibit admissions personnel from administering tests.

Hamilton said he was “point-blank directed … to participate in the falsification process” to ensure that every student who applied was enrolled even though he said he “adamantly objected.”

Besides seeking damages for wrongful discharge, Hamilton’s suit alleges that his firing constituted a violation of the Pennsylvania Whistleblower Act.

Trade school

Pennco is a trade school that provides education in fields including pharmacy tech, auto repair, air conditioning, plumbing and many other fields. It is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), Arlington, Va. Besides its Bristol location, it also operates a school in Blackwood, N.J.

Pennco does not appear on the ACCSC’s list of schools that are currently on probation. Schools currently on the probation list include State Barber and Hair Design College, Oklahoma City; Professional Massage Training Center, Springfield, Mo., Universal Career Community College, Puerto Rico; and Universal Technical College of Puerto Rico.

New rules

The U.S. Department of Education has proposed rules that would make these for-profit colleges and universities ineligible for government-backed student loans if fewer than 35 percent of students and former students are paying their loans. Schools would also be denied access to federal funds if graduates are spending more than 12 percent of their income to pay back student loans.

Meanwhile, many for-profit schools have begun making costly private student loans knowing in many cases that more than half of these loans will never be repaid, a report from the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) finds.

Most of the schools started the institutional loan programs when third-party private student lenders began terminating their partnerships with for-profit schools following the credit crash.

The report said schools seem to view these “institutional loans” as loss leaders to keep the federal dollars flowing. Among other reasons, proprietary schools must show that at least 10% of revenues come from sources other than Department of Education federal student assistance.

Schools thus make unaffordable loans as a way of filling up the 10% category with “vapor” revenues derived from loans that will never be repaid, the report said.

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New Report Attempts to Bring Transparency to For-Profit Colleges

Posted by Kay Steiger-April 20th, 2011

Youth Today, a trade publication for youth service professionals, released an intensive report on for-profit colleges that attempts to do something that for-profit colleges sometimes don’t always do a great job of themselves: Offering a transparent profile of each school’s default rate, tuition, and stockholder information in one place.

The creators of Youth Today’s report [sub. req.] sifted through Department of Education data, as well as Securities and Exchange Commission filings for publicly traded schools, and requested information directly from the schools themselves. The authors even provide a repayment table to better help incoming students understand how much a loan will ultimately end up costing them.

The report is a step in the direction of making  higher education—and for-profit education particularly—more transparent and accountable for their student outcomes – a trend the education industry has often resisted.

Part of the problem is that for-profit schools tend to be some of the worst offenders when it comes to transparency. Simply pressuring schools to be more upfront about crude but crucial statistics like graduate employment rates and student loan default rates is one way students could make better decisions about which school to attend.

Of course, measures like default rates, graduation rates, and employment rates aren’t perfect. “There are numerous ways to game that system,” says American Enterprise Institute research fellow Andrew Kelly, citing some recent reports in the Chronicle of Higher Educationthat document consulting firms that aim to keep schools from having high default rates by setting students up with forbearance or other loan deferral methods. “No matter where you put that goal post, they’ll find ways” to manipulate the data, Kelly says at an event Youth Today held on Wednesday. Only three attendees came to learn about the report.

The Department of Education has proposed a rule known as gainful employment that would pull federal aid funding from schools that have too-high default rates. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recently promised a finalized rule in the coming months.

“There are students who will default through no fault of the colleges, but [high default rates are] an indicator that something is wrong,” says Julie Morgan, a policy analyst with the Center for American Progress, the parent organization of Campus Progress.

Youth Today’s report, while a serious attempt to offer a comprehensive perspective on for-profit schools, is still lacking. The text-heavy pages and color-coded banners are best suited to industry insiders rather than students attempting to make decisions about where to invest in higher education. Youth Today also wants to charge $6 a copy for the report, but even such a nominal barrier could keep such important information from students who are considering these schools. Morgan suggests that such information should be available on for-profit schools’ websites and on forms they need to sign.

And while Youth Today’s report does a good job of comparing for-profit schools to each other, most often students are comparing a number of options, both for-profit and non-profit, when making decisions about where to attend higher education.

Still, such a report is yet another reminder that, while the battle over what to do with for-profit schools has largely been fought over regulations, it is also about providing clear and accessible information for the students so they can make the best decisions.

Kay Steiger is the editor of CampusProgress.org.

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