Tag Archives: For-profit school

A How-To Instruction Manual For the ‘Ambitious’ For-Profit College

Here is a Profile of the Sociopath  that can be found in its entirety at the link. A more in depth discussion and list of symptoms can be found at Sociopath World I highly recommend checking it out (alongside for-profit college recruiting and promotional materials).

Profile of the Sociopath

  • Glibness and Superficial Charm
  • Manipulative and Conning
    They never recognize the rights of others and see their self-serving behaviors as permissible. They appear to be charming, yet are covertly hostile and domineering, seeing their victim as merely an instrument to be used. They may dominate and humiliate their victims.
  • Grandiose Sense of Self
    Feels entitled to certain things as “their right.”
  • Pathological Lying
    Has no problem lying coolly and easily and it is almost impossible for them to be truthful on a consistent basis. Can create, and get caught up in, a complex belief about their own powers and abilities. Extremely convincing and even able to pass lie detector tests.
  • Lack of Remorse, Shame or Guilt
    A deep seated rage, which is split off and repressed, is at their core. Does not see others around them as people, but only as targets and opportunities. Instead of friends, they have victims and accomplices who end up as victims. The end always justifies the means and they let nothing stand in their way.
  • Shallow Emotions
    When they show what seems to be warmth, joy, love and compassion it is more feigned than experienced and serves an ulterior motive. Outraged by insignificant matters, yet remaining unmoved and cold by what would upset a normal person. Since they are not genuine, neither are their promises.
  • Callousness/Lack of Empathy
    Unable to empathize with the pain of their victims, having only contempt for others’ feelings of distress and readily taking advantage of them.
  • Poor Behavioral Controls/Impulsive Nature
    Rage and abuse, alternating with small expressions of love and approval produce an addictive cycle for abuser and abused, as well as creating hopelessness in the victim. Believe they are all-powerful, all-knowing, entitled to every wish, no sense of personal boundaries, no concern for their impact on others.
  • Irresponsibility/Unreliability
    Not concerned about wrecking others’ lives and dreams. Oblivious or indifferent to the devastation they cause. Does not accept blame themselves, but blames others, even for acts they obviously committed.
  • Lack of Realistic Life Plan/Parasitic Lifestyle
    Tends to move around a lot or makes all encompassing promises for the future, poor work ethic but exploits others effectively.
  • Criminal or Entrepreneurial Versatility
    Changes their image as needed to avoid prosecution.

Other Related Qualities:

  1. Contemptuous of those who seek to understand them
  2. Does not perceive that anything is wrong with them
  3. Authoritarian
  4. Secretive
  5. Paranoid
  6. Only rarely in difficulty with the law, but seeks out situations where their tyrannical behavior will be tolerated, condoned, or admired
  7. Conventional appearance
  8. Goal of enslavement of their victim(s)
  9. Exercises despotic control over every aspect of the victim’s life
  10. Has an emotional need to justify their crimes and therefore needs their victim’s affirmation (respect, gratitude and love)
  11. Ultimate goal is the creation of a willing victim
  12. Incapable of real human attachment to another
  13. Unable to feel remorse or guilt
  14. Extreme narcissism and grandiose
  15. May state readily that their goal is to rule the world

(The above traits are based on the psychopathy checklists of H. Cleckley and R. Hare.)

This little gem of an article is courtesy of and can be found @ ForProfitEDU. Please keep in mind the profile above as you read through the article below.

Understanding why for-profits are growing @ ForProfitEDU

All student interests and motivations are not at all the same, you need to understand their motivations to understand the market.  Lack of Remorse, Shame or Guilt: A deep seated rage, which is split off and repressed, is at their core. Does not see others around them as people, but only as targets and opportunities. Instead of friends, they have victims and accomplices who end up as victims. The end always justifies the means and they let nothing stand in their way. Shallow Emotions: When they show what seems to be warmth, joy, love and compassion it is more feigned than experienced and serves an ulterior motive. Outraged by insignificant matters, yet remaining unmoved and cold by what would upset a normal person. Since they are not genuine, neither are their promises.

You need to not think about yourself here as you are NOT the typical student growing to these schools. Grandiose Sense of Self Feels entitled to certain things as “their right.”
Hmm could this be code for ‘minority’ seeing as the argument has been that the For-Profit College regulations penalize minorities.

We are talking demographics, ethnicity’s, socioeconomic differences and growing population trends.  For many of us the decision to go to college was a big one. College is a BIG DECISION for most people, especially now that college tuition costs the same as a Bentley!  Thanks Wall Street!

We spent a lot of time and effort thinking about where to go, the advantages of each school and what would be the best opportunity for us.  We went and visited many of the schools, we looked at the academia, the campus life and the fit for us at those schools. The question was not should we go to college, but rather which college should we go to… this was a massive decision and we treated it as such. Grandiose Sense of Self: Feels entitled to certain things as “their right.”

Well, that’s not the case for the vast majority of the students who enroll in the for-profit schools. Rage and abuse, alternating with small expressions of love and approval produce an addictive cycle for abuser and abused, as well as creating hopelessness in the victim. Believe they are all-powerful, all-knowing, entitled to every wish, no sense of personal boundaries, no concern for their impact on others

They for the most part are simply viewing the decision as I need to get a degree, and I don’t have the luxury of stopping everything else in my life for 4 years in order to get it.  Thanks to you and your Wall Street cronies the majority of people, including those you reference above, no longer have that option psycho!

I need to get a degree to get a job and start my career.  I can’t make any money without a degree, so how do I get my degree.  I also want it local and flexible (or online) so my life doesn’t have to stop while I am doing it. Callousness/Lack of Empathy Unable to empathize with the pain of their victims, having only contempt for others’ feelings of distress and readily taking advantage of them. Here comes the BAIT and SWITCH that we’re all so PISSED OFF ABOUT!

They search online or maybe see a TV commercial, they call or fill out a lead form (requesting information) and then they get “the call”.  The call is when a trained admissions rep (in other industries they are called sales reps.) calls them ASAP.  The faster they get them on the phone, the better their odds of bringing in the student.  Lack of Realistic Life Plan/Parasitic Lifestyle: Tends to move around a lot or makes all encompassing promises for the future, poor work ethic but exploits others effectively. 

They establish a rapport, they build the case for why the prospective student MUST move forward to change their life for the better and they go for the enrollment.  Shallow Emotions: When they show what seems to be warmth, joy, love and compassion it is more feigned than experienced and serves an ulterior motive. Outraged by insignificant matters, yet remaining unmoved and cold by what would upset a normal person. Since they are not genuine, neither are their promises.

Most prospects don’t shop around, and once they have established a relationship with a school they move forward with that school, rarely will they return calls from the other schools they may have requested info from. Manipulative and Conning: They never recognize the rights of others and see their self-serving behaviors as permissible. They appear to be charming, yet are covertly hostile and domineering, seeing their victim as merely an instrument to be used. They may dominate and humiliate their victims. It’s called trust you Sociopath….they trust you and y0ur admissions counselors! They trust that you have their best interests in mind that you understand they want to better themselves and their lives. So what do you do? You take that trust and use it in the most SATANIC, DESPICABLE AND DASTARDLY MANNER FOR YOUR OWN PERSONAL MONETARY GAIN

They rarely step back and say…okay I need to stop here for a moment and look at what else is out there. Irresponsibility/Unreliability: Not concerned about wrecking others’ lives and dreams. Oblivious or indifferent to the devastation they cause. Does not accept blame themselves, but blames others, even for acts they obviously committed.

They instead plow ahead and move through the process including financial aid and ultimately start school.  It’s a means to an end decision, and often a degree is a degree is a degree type of thinking.  Therefore, as the population continues to shift to an increasing percentage of the population of the non-traditional means to an ends thinking student from the traditional college selection is a huge decision for me student for-profits will continue to grow. Their models are aggressive, fine tuned marketing & enrolment machines, yet they provide the solution to what a growing population is looking for. Pathological Lying: Has no problem lying coolly and easily and it is almost impossible for them to be truthful on a consistent basis. Can create, and get caught up in, a complex belief about their own powers and abilities. Extremely convincing and even able to pass lie detector tests.Criminal or Entrepreneurial Versatility: Changes their image as needed to avoid prosecution.  

A college degree and/ or career training in an environment filled with like minded students whose goal is to get a degree as soon as they can so they can join the workforce.  Callousness/Lack of Empathy: Unable to empathize with the pain of their victims, having only contempt for others’ feelings of distress and readily taking advantage of them.

Without the pomp and circumstance of traditional academia, without the huge sprawling campus, the sports teams, the fraternities, and the need to stop everything else in their life (for years) in order to obtain their education/degree. Shallow Emotions: When they show what seems to be warmth, joy, love and compassion it is more feigned than experienced and serves an ulterior motive. Outraged by insignificant matters, yet remaining unmoved and cold by what would upset a normal person. Since they are not genuine, neither are their promises.

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

University of Phoenix

Image via Wikipedia

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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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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Report: For-profit colleges ‘defraud’ students

By Ben Wolfgang -The Washington Times

For-profit colleges, already the target of Senate Democrats, took another beating in a report released Wednesday by an education trade publication that says such institutions “defraud” young people.

Youth Today Publisher Sara Fritz, who unveiled the “Guide to For-Profit Colleges” at the National Press Club in Washington, said many for-profit institutions promise a first-class education to young people but instead leave thousands of dropouts with insurmountable piles of loan debt.

“There are many, many young people for whom this is the alternative, the best alternative, because these schools are easy to get into … this is obviously an appealing option for kids who didn’t do very well in high school,” she said.

The guide provides details on more than 100 nontraditional college campuses, including trade schools, fashion institutes, online-only institutions and others. The colleges are compared by graduation and loan-default rates, tuition costs, transparency in providing information, percentage of revenue from federal financial aid and other figures.

Andrew P. Kelly, research fellow in education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, said that while the report raises questions, it cannot be used as a “blanket indictment” of all for-profit colleges, which vary in size, scope and mission.

For example, Mr. Kelly said graduation rates among nontraditional colleges differ greatly, ranging from 5 percent to nearly 90 percent. The average amount of loan debt after graduation is also widely varied, with students at some for-profits only a few thousand dollars in the hole after getting their diplomas.

For-profit schools have become a hot-button issue on Capitol Hill, with Senate Republicans threatening to boycott next month’s tentative hearing on the subject unless the focus is expanded to include all colleges and universities.

Sen. Tom Harkin, Iowa Democrat and chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, already has held four hearings on for-profits. Republicans on the committee think Democrats are waging a war on for-profits and say the biased hearings have been little help in finding solutions. The problems highlighted by Youth Today, Republicans and for-profit proponents argue, are present in all corners of higher education.

The survey singles out Corinthian Colleges Inc., which operates more than 100 campuses in the United States and Canada and offers a wide variety of programs. But Youth Today is encouraging students to “avoid [for-profit colleges] like the Corinthian Colleges” because, among other reasons, the company dedicates more than 20 percent of its budget to student recruitment.

After the report was released, Corinthian came out swinging. Spokesman Kent Jenkins said Youth Today makes a serious mistake by comparing Corinthian campuses to other for-profit institutions, most of which, he said, offer vastly different class structures and have very different student bodies.

“The statements they made today seem to fundamentally misunderstand the nature of private-sector colleges,” Mr. Jenkins told The Washington Times. “They seem to believe we are a one-size-fits-all, everybody is the same sector. We’re not.”

He also said Corinthian, like other for-profits, challenges last year’s Government Accountability Office report that found misleading recruitment practices at 15 randomly selected private-sector colleges. The GAO issued revisions to that report several months later but stands by its general findings.

Youth Today, an independent, nationally distributed education trade publication, is primarily funded through donations, including money from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Atlantic Philanthropies and others.

© Copyright 2011 The Washington Times, LLC.

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