Discover the Truth About For-Profit Colleges

The popularity of for-profit colleges, e.g., Capella University, DeVry University and University of Phoenix may pose a conflicting dilemma for many parents. Some fear that their child may not receive a legitimate degree upon graduation. In this article, I will answer some common questions about these schools. I hope that with this additional information you will have the tools to help your child make the best decision for his or her education.

If for-profit colleges are often much more expensive and in some cases have bad reputations when compared to public universities, why are so many people enrolling?

There are three main reasons: advertising, customer service and fast degrees. Many of these schools are owned by large corporations with huge marketing budgets. As a result, they can use aggressive and expensive recruitment campaigns that utilize radio, flyers, side-walk sales agents, newspapers, public transportation and TV. Some pay internet search engines to be listed as first picks when people conduct searches. Some of the search phrases they have paid for are “top colleges”, “online colleges” and “top accredited schools.”

In order to stay in business for-profit colleges need to implement prompt attentive customer service in the admissions and financial-aid process. They understand that these processes can be intimidating and daunting for most people. For-profit colleges make it their business to streamline the process. They make it a priority to enroll students as quickly as possible. They also work closely with students to help them receive every type of grant and loan, they are eligible for. Most schools have open enrollment and do not have admissions tests. This adds to the ease of entry and simplifies the college application.

Many of the students who attend these schools need to either keep their current jobs or find employment as quickly as possible. For- profit colleges offer and market accelerated programs, online classes, and hybrid courses (online plus a few on-campus meetings) to accommodate the different needs of its clients. Many schools take life and work experience into consideration when determining what classes someone will need to graduate. They also allow students to test out of classes and often allow military personnel to convert military classes and training into college credits. These conveniences have attracted many people.

Are for-profit colleges accredited?

The short answer is yes; however, some accreditations can be worthless. Many for-profit institutions have national accreditation rather than regional accreditation. Regionally accredited schools are generally academically oriented, non-profit institutions. Nationally accredited schools are predominantly for-profit and offer vocational, career, or technical programs. Many regionally accredited schools will not accept transfer credits earned at a nationally accredited school. Make sure you ask an admissions representative whether they are regionally or nationally accredited. If a school tells you, they are in the process of seeking accreditation; you should consider enrollment after they have been accredited.

Some schools have made misrepresentations concerning their accreditation status to entice students to enroll. In order to protect your child, I would confirm the school’s accreditation before enrolling. The …