If you’ve flipped through commercials during your favorite ball game or television show, you may have come across commercials promoting programs to earn a bachelor’s degree in 2 years, career programs that offer specialized hands on training, or programs that offer job placement assistance.
Before you log onto their easy to remember websites, before you call to see if that cute, singing girl in the commercial answers the toll-free hot line, or purchase plastic goggles like those uniformed mechanics on the billboards, permit me to give you the rebuttal to those commercials;
1. Cost vs. Earning: The vocations highlighted on those commercials, while necessary to society, come at an unnecessarily high cost.
The costs of their programs are usually in the thousands of dollars and a big portion of the financial aid assistance they advertise will come in the form of student loans you will need to pay back. Unfortunately, the pay you can expect from the training (assuming you can find a job) will make it difficult to repay those thousands of dollars in student loans and lead into a very long struggle with debt. And should you decide that program is not for you, you will still be “on the hook” for the tuition and fees for the entire program.
An investigative report by the Wall Street Journal indicated that students at “for profit” schools were most likely to default on repayments of students loans.
2. “For profit” education: The commercials advertise schools and programs designed to make a profit.
Many, if not all, of these schools are funded by corporations with the goal of making money for stockholders. A portion of the tuition and fees are designed to cover expenses, but are usually funneled into the pockets of outside investors. While making money is not a crime, you should be aware of how those program operate…by making a profit from you.
A 2010 Reuters article cited a report by the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of the United States Congress, in which it reports very troubling activities at “for-profit” universities; including higher tuition and deceptive practices.
3. Few, if any, of the classes students complete at “for-profit” schools transfer to traditional universities.
Unlike high school and community colleges, the “for-profit” schools do not have admissions or transfer agreements with UC’s or CSU’s. They do not have agreements with reputable private universities. This means that, while you will develop a transcript at the “for-profit” school, you will not receive credit for them if you wish to eventually transfer your credits to a community college or university.
4. Job Placement Assistance is not a job guarantee.
The term job placement can mean just about anything: a one-time mock interview, a simple handout on “what not to do” on an interview, or explaining how to find job listings online. Either way, it is not the same as guaranteeing you a job.There are alternatives.
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West Los Angeles College