The for-profit higher education industry was the target of a bruising report issued last week. Based on a two-year effort, the report detailed high rates of loan default, aggressive recruiting, higher than average tuition, low retention rates, and little job placement assistance. It was spearheaded by Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, a longtime critic of the industry. (ProPublica has written a number of pieces looking more closely at the explosive growth sector, including questionable recruiting and marketing.)
The report has provoked some pushback. The Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities, a membership organization composed of accredited for-profit schools, issued a statement criticizing what it saw as "continued political attacks" on the for-profit sector. Saying the report "twists the facts to fit a narrative," it went on to challenge several figures.
It didn't contest the following numbers.
Cost of education
$35,000: average cost of a two-year associate's degree at a for-profit college
Loan — and debt
Recruitment and lobbying
This story was originally published on ProPublica.