With increasing scrutiny from lawmakers, regulators, consumer advocates and the general public, the past five years have been hard on a for-profit college industry that had enjoyed years of happily feeding at the federal student aid trough. There have been changes to schools’ often excessive advertising budgets, damning reports of abuse, and soon-to-be-implemented rules requiring for-profit programs to demonstrate their effectiveness. The fractures in a business model that has attracted some of the biggest names in investment have become more evident, especially when comparing previously robust enrollment numbers with the most recent figures. [More]
Melinda has an MBA from Kaplan University, and has enough business sense to know that she shouldn’t have to pay debts that aren’t hers in the first place. The for-profit college, part of the Washington Post Company, has decided that she owes them more than $3,000 even though her tuition was long ago paid with federal financial aid. No one can show her a detailed breakdown of the bill, or explain why no one noticed that she owed the money until months after graduation. Update: Kaplan has since resolved Melinda’s problem.