For-Profit Higher Education

The for-profit sector is the fastest growing part of higher education today. Learn more about our For-Profit Higher Education work.

The for-profit sector is the fastest growing part of higher education today.These schools often cater to older or working students in vocational fields. And unlike traditional higher education, for-profit schools have been much quicker to adopt technology to assist learning and to tailor schedules to students' needs. But this sector has generated a number of valid concerns. Despite enrolling around 10 percent of all students, for-profit colleges receive nearly 25 percent of Pell Grant and student loan dollars. Borrowers at for-profit colleges default on their loans at much higher rates than those in community colleges or similar institutions and the average tuition paid by students is often closer to what four-year private, not-for-profit institutions charge.

Our work on for-profit education charts a middle ground. We examine what these schools do well, but at the same time cast a critical eye toward the very real concerns of cost, quality, and debt. Only by taking into account all of these issues will it be possible to properly assess the importance and role of for-profit education.