Why do online colleges target veterans? The reason is pretty disturbing.
For-profit colleges are pervasive in the country’s education scene. There was a time when this wasn’t the case; however, due to the commercialization of education, there’s been an influx of colleges who heavily market their packages in the hopes of getting government aid. These colleges are supported by the government through student loans, federal funding and Pell grants.
A law enacted in the nineties proposes that all for-profit colleges should obtain at least 10 percent of their revenues from sources other than the federal government. This law is known as the 90/10 rule and serves to keep these educational institutions in check. It’s surprising to most that these online schools are 90% funded by federal student loans. However, a recent loophole has made it possible for the schools to receive 100% of its revenues from government! The Post 9/11 GI bill gives for-profit colleges access to veteran funds as long as they enroll these individuals into a diploma or degree program. The funds from the GI bill can then count toward the 10%, even though they’re funds directly from the government.
So surely it’s not that big of a deal, right? Wrong. These school straddle that 90/10 line so incredible close every year, and tend to stay between 89.5% and 89.9% federally funded. This shows how desperate these schools are for any funding that counts toward the 10% – and the GI bill is by far the easiest for them.
For-profit colleges have a notorious reputation for having high dropout rates as well as defaults on student loans. At the same time, most employers usually don’t put a lot of credence on degrees received from these institutions because they’re generally considered to be of low quality. This still hasn’t stopped them from taking advantage of the legal loophole as well as aggressively marketing their packages to individuals in an almost predator-like fashion.
Congress needs to amend this loophole so that these colleges cannot keep acting as a student loan mill. This could change the way in which they offer their training and education, and force them to focus on giving quality education to students instead.
A new law proposes an almost symmetrical division between these schools and government funds as far as revenue is concerned; for-profit schools would have to get 55 percent of their revenue from non-governmental sources. This would eliminate student exploitation, get rid of wasteful government spending and bring back sanity in the runaway commercial education sector. At the end of the day, these schools need some form of regulation to stop them from taking advantage of students just so they can make a quick buck. People looking for quality education shouldn’t have to fall prey to these institutions. Congress is still debating this matter and is expected to come to a conclusion in early 2014. We’ll keep you posted.