Predatory For-Profit Colleges And The Republicans Who Believe In Them





For-profit colleges are like Encyclopedia Britannica — stupidly expensive, practically useless, and only obtained through exploitative means. The recruiter of, say, the University of Phoenix may as well be dressed in a brown tweed suit (complete with hat) while carrying a heavy bag full of the textbooks you’d need to stand up and say “I am a Phoenix.”

For-profit colleges are a scam, like Amway, emails from Nigerian princes, or anything Deepak Chopra says.

for-profit colleges

Photo credit: Sphilbrick — image via Wikimedia Commons




 

With that being said, I suppose it makes sense that several Republicans who want to be your President would be in bed with for-profit colleges. After all, I believe it was Mitt Romney who once boasted he cut funding to the University of Massachusetts while vocalizing his support for Full Sail University, a Florida-based, media-centered for-profit college that wouldn’t even qualify you to be the ass off of which some Hollywood executive would snort a line of coke.

Of course, Full Sail University’s owners were?among Romney’s top donors during the 2012 Presidential election.

Hmm… I wonder who else may be stroking the bosom of for-profit colleges.

Jeb Bush, for starters. With “education reform” being a top issue for W.’s little brother, one would think Jeb Bush would want to invest more time, money, and resources into raising the educational bar in the United States. However, while Bush believes that K-12 schools should be held accountable for the quality of education received by their students, he also thinks education beyond high school should be competitive.

While speaking to APSCU, the trade organization of for-profit colleges, in 2014, Jeb Bush took the time to speak ill of President Obama’s “gainful employment rule,” a measure that has upset the college mafia immensely. The “gainful employment rule” is aimed at penalizing career education systems — which are virtually the entirety of for-profit colleges — that consistently take taxpayer money while leaving students in a desperate state of debt.

The rule makes sense. After all, there should be safeguards in place that keep for-profit colleges from acting like Benny Hinn or Peter Popoff.

Jeb Bush doesn’t think so, however, as he is quoted telling the APSCU that President Obama’s “gainful employment rule” is “a sledgehammer to the entire field of higher education.”

Marco Rubio, in what was presumably an effort to one-up his Floridian rival, wrote a letter to the U.S. Department of Education, wherein he spoke very highly of Corinthian College.

Corinthian College was (they’re dead now) the gold standard for corrupt for-profit colleges. Corinthian has been investigated or sued by 23 attorneys general, as well as three federal law enforcement agencies. Corinthian students got to a point where they demanded their loans be cancelled. In April 2015, when Corinthian College went extinct, a staggering number of abuses, frauds, and general acts of corruption were left exposed.

However, getting “Madoffed” didn’t stop Corinthian from giving Marco Rubio $5,000 to speak highly of them to the U.S. government.

Wisconsin Gov. and aspiring Stephen Baldwin doppelganger Scott Walker builds his relationship with for-profit colleges on a foundation of love, trust, and ALEC influence. He has publicly defended ITT Tech, the current gold standard of corruption when it comes to for-profit colleges now that Corinthian has been given Mussolini’s fate. ITT Tech’s student loan default rate is higher than its graduation rate, for Christ’s sake. Walker even tried to eliminate the Wisconsin agency that oversees for-profit colleges in the state. Thankfully, the state legislature slapped Walker down a few pegs.

Interestingly, while other Republican candidates have to lick the lizard-skin boots of the owners of for-profit colleges, Trump puts the lizard-skin boots on himself. The Donald and his hairpiece sidekick own the Trump Entrepreneur Initiative (formerly Trump University), an institution of higher learning that presumably has more in common with McDonald’s Hamburger University than it does with, say, Green Mountain College. In 2013, Trump’s school was sued by the New York attorney general for “persistent fraudulent, illegal, and deceptive conduct.”

Because of course it did.

About Robert L. Franklin

Robert could go on about how he was raised by honey badgers in the Texas Hill Country, or how he was elected to the Texas state legislature as a 19-year-old wunderkind, or how he won 219 consecutive games of Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots against Hugh Grant, but those would be lies. However, Robert does hail from Lewisville, Texas, having been transplanted from Fort Worth at a young age. Robert is a college student and focuses his studies on philosophical dilemmas involving morality, which he feels makes him very qualified to write about politicians. Reading the Bible turned Robert into an atheist, a combative disposition toward greed turned him into a humanist, and the fact he has not lost a game of Madden football in over a decade means you can call him "Zeus." If you would like to be his friend, you can send him a Facebook request or follow his ramblings on Twitter. For additional content that may not make it to Liberal America, Robert's internet tavern, The Zephyr Lounge, is always open

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