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September 21, 2009


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I am not sure what this is telling us. Certainly overall enrollment has gone up for all school types with the lion’s share of the increase in proprietary schools. If you look at the demographics of students that choose proprietary over public/private not-for-profit you will see that they tend be less well off financially (see the new GAO report titled “Proprietary Schools: Stronger Department of Education Oversight Needed to Help Ensure Only Eligible Students Receive Federal Student Aid.” The increase in Pell recipients is just a leading indicator to a more important question that: why is enrollment at proprietary schools increasing at a faster pace than at public/private not-for-profit institutions?

Carol R.

I have no scientific data to back up my impression of why enrollment is increasing at a faster pace at proprietary schools than at public/private/not for profit institutions. However, I do believe that the proprietary schools make promises that the other institutions don't. For example, I have heard from students that the proprietary schools promise the student will be trained in a relatively short period of time (less than 2 years, sometimes 6 months)and ready for gainful employment, sometimes with job placement guarantees. How can the traditional 4 year, or even 2 year community colleges, compete with that?

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