|Student With Cardboard Cutout Of Trump|
They Were Promised A Pic With Trump
(photo from nro.com)
I give Trump and his cohorts the benefits that come from due process. But I do so while noting that there is now a little cottage industry within the legal community that seeks to jump on the litigation bandwagon created by enough students to file two class-action lawsuits against Trump's venture. The deep-pocketed Trump set himself up for this one, but at the same time provides an object lesson about for-profit institutions and the problems that some of them have created for their students and the country as a whole. The "student debt crisis" that makes so much news nowadays has been disproportionately fueled by students borrowing money to attend for-profit institutions. In 2000 the amount of debt owed by students attending these schools was $39 billion. In 2014 it was $229 billion. The Brookings Institution released a deep study of this last September, which found that in 2000 only one for-profit school was among the top 25 institutions where students had the most
(source: U.S. Dept. of Education)
We're talking about debt burdens amounting to billions of dollars, much of it guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Education. Last year's abrupt closure of the for-profit Corinthian College group stuck thousands of students with $3 billion of debt. In the meantime, many ongoing institutions are promising much more than they can deliver when it comes to job placements. I have an acquaintance who went to a bartenders college that counted him as having been placed in his field when he got a job as a clerk in a liquor store. Really. From his story I concluded that getting an education in a for-profit institution is a caveat emptor venture: expensive schooling with little to show for it except a mountain of debt is the risk, and it's all to common. Let the buyer beware.
We have several for-profit colleges here in South Dakota. As far as I know, they're fine schools. One acquaintance with a government job in Washington got an advanced degree in public administration from one of them. Another, who interned with me when I was brokering and feeding cattle now has a successful meat processing business. No doubt there are many similar stories. But enough nightmares like the Corinthian and Trump ventures are out there to justify some skepticism about the industry--which should make potential students cautious enough to examine, examine, examine before signing on the dotted line.