• August 27, 2015

Data Points


1. bwainscott - January 06, 2010 at 10:25 am

Well would you look there...my Alma Mater is at the top of the list. More for-profit bashing? The HLC article a few days ago and then this. Think tradional colleges are not out to make money? When some college presidents make over half a million a year? For profits pay stockholders..and B/M institutions build a new building...all the same to me. Makes you wonder why all of those Pell Grant recipients did not attend a traditional university. Perhaps because they could not?

2. qt314 - January 06, 2010 at 11:24 am

Interesting numbers, but of course schools like UOP are going to come in first in the raw number analysis, because they are so big. Looking at the amount of Pell Grant money received *per student,* public schools rank 1st (Wayne County CC), 3rd (Sanford Brown), and 5th (Miami Dade). Phoenix ranks 8th of the 20. Penn State ranks 11th. Penn State receipts per student are 93% of Phoenix's. Using Phoenix as in index reveals that 17 of these schools have per student receipts at 90% the UOP rate or higher, and of the three that don't, two are for profit.

As for the "6% of enrollment, but 20% of financial aid" statement, surely you are not comparing students at, schools like DeVry to those at, say, Oberlin? There are many deserving students of need at expensive nfp schools. But ignoring SES and other life circumstances in this statement weakens the argument considerably.

3. kerrroadgirl - January 06, 2010 at 12:01 pm

The reason for-profit colleges have large numbers of pell grant recipients is: Public schools failed to educate a majority of the poor. For-profit colleges do a better job educating the poor because of smaller classes and individualized attention.

Our government employees and unions would like to see the for profit colleges go out of business.

4. gadget - January 06, 2010 at 02:23 pm

I teach at a 95 percent minority community college, most of whom receive Pell Grants. I see the marketing efforts of UOP and the other for-profits every working day. They capitalize on our students' lack of institutional knowledge, maintain an always-open recruiting presence (which our local universities cannot afford to do), sell students on the idea that the only work they do will be in the classroom (i.e., no homework and outside readings), emphasize the rapidity of earning a degree, and most of all, do not mention the loans the student will have to take out to pay the much higher tuition rates. And they run really professional and slick community-wide marketing campaigns.

Our public institution, with a primary focus of keeping college affordable (no loans required) to both Pell and non-Pell recipients, simply cannot raise the kind of revenue that pays for what UOP and the other proprietaries can spend in recruitment and advertising.

5. johntoradze - January 06, 2010 at 04:58 pm

University of Phoenix is a predatory institution. Pell grant money represented 20% of its total federal revenue in 2008-2009. I challenge you to find that in any other for profit university bwainscot. The difference in remuneration is several orders of magnitude. Expressed in physical terms, you pointed to an amoeba and said it was larger than a man when it is 2000 times smaller! (Amoeba nominal size of 100 microns, man's nominal size of 2 meters.)

And yet, OEDB http://oedb.org/rankings/graduation-rate shows that among online universities UOP is at the bottom. It shows only a 4% graduation rate within 150% of published program time. That is simply an astonishingly low figure, just outrageous. University of Phoenix abuses students by misleading them and suckering them into predatory loans which UOP "pays off" thus sticking students with an even higher loan rate than they would have had if loans were not paid off. http://higheredwatch.newamerica.net/blogs/2007/02/u_of_phoenix

University of Phoenix is a predator.

6. johntoradze - January 06, 2010 at 05:26 pm

I realize I should clarify. $500,000 is 1/2000th of $1 billion.

John Sperling, founder of UOP is ranked at 236 out of the 400 richest people in America, and 397 on the world's billionaire list with about $1.5 billion in net worth.

Peter Sperling is John Sperling's son. He is ranked at 317th richest person in America, with about $1.4 billion net worth. That also put him at 522 on the billionaire's list when it was last published. Some of his wealth has been inherited. He has served in various officer positions at the Apollo Group and is on the Board of Directors. He got his MBA from University of Phoenix.

In other words, Pell Grants, Federal money and predatory loan practices have helped create nearly $3 billion in net worth through UOP while UOP delivers squat in return. And that isn't counting the money Sperling has given up to his three divorces.

7. johntoradze - January 06, 2010 at 07:43 pm

Here's another way of putting the relative compensation of university presidents in perspective bwainscott.

For a regular university to deliver $1.5 billion to a university president (i.e. lifetime compensation equal to Sperling Sr's net worth) at the rate of $500 thousand per year of salary would take 3,000 YEARS! When you consider that Sperling has also drawn salary, the comparison is absolutely ludicrous. If you add in the net worth of Mr. Sperling's son, it would take 5,800 years for for a university to deliver in salary to a president that amount of money.

Put another way, if one started 1,000 years before biblical Babylon was founded and paid a university president's salary every year, it would take another 120 years from today before that president would have received the same amount of money as the Sperlings. (And that is neglecting the odd few hundred million not yet accounted for!)

For that, these contemptible people have delivered 4% graduation rates to their students?! Add to that they have left huge numbers of their vulnerable victims in debt, ashamed, thinking that the fault is their own. Either laughable graduation rates or sky-high compensation, or leaving students deep in debt with no degrees - any of those alone would be an outrage. Put them together and you have an obscenity that mocks the history of education.

So if one can't DO the math, then one should at least READ the math. The University of Phoenix is not an educational institution of repute. University of Phoenix is a barely legal scam that exists to shovel absolutely obscene amounts of money into the pockets of its owners by victimizing their students. The way that this so-called "University" conducts itself is just obscene. There is no other word that is equal to what they do.

8. johntoradze - January 07, 2010 at 11:28 am

I thought I should add that if someone thinks I am against non-traditional education, I'm not. A valid question that could be answered relative to UOP is whether their graduation rate rises significantly at the 200%, 250% and 300% time periods. (i.e. 8 year, 10 year and 12 years to graduate with a 4 year degree.) However, based on the evidence, I doubt very much that UOP will rise above 10% at the 12 year point.

Non-traditional universities should be encouraged. They should also have their feet held to the fire on academic standards so that an education there is at least as good as an education in the traditional system. More credit by examination, properly proctored exams such as the way GREs and SATs are administered is a good thing.

UOP may deliver a few graduates out of every hundred with possibly acceptable qualifications. The problem of the UOPs of the world is not the same as the degree mill. The problem of the UOPs of the world is that purporting to be educators while victimizing the poor and ignorant is morally repugnant and should be criminal. The poor and ignorant come to them knowing they are poor and ignorant, asking for help. They come to them with the expectation they will be led out of the wilderness, educated so they won't be consigned to a life of poverty. Educators have a sacred trust with students not to take advantage of them due to their ignorance.

University of Phoenix has created a system that victimizes those who come to them for the purpose of enriching its owners. It is quite clear from the evidence that the primary purpose of UOP is not to educate, but to extract money by violating the sacred trust that educators have with the public. What universities of this type are doing is equivalent to quack medicine. Instead of raising its students up, UOP drives most of them down further.

That is what is obscene and nobody involved in higher education should accept it.

9. bruc8916 - January 08, 2010 at 05:50 pm

The following is a partial response from the Career College Association to this article:

We note with interest the out of context and apropos of essentially nothing Chronicle Financial Data chart titled “For-Profit Colleges Capitalize on Pell Grant Revenue.” So what? The distribution of Pell Grants to career college students reflects the fact that career colleges educate a significantly higher percentage of economically disadvantaged students than do most other sectors. The distribution is also distorted by the low proportion of community college students receiving such grants due to their low application rates for federal student aid.

Over 62 percent of the students at for-profit schools (nearly 71 at two-year schools) are either below or at the poverty level or at 200 percent of the poverty level. In comparison, 32 percent of public four-year, 41 percent of public two-year and 29 percent of private non-profit students, respectively, are in the same economic situation. While almost all career college students apply for federal student aid, including Pell grants for those eligible, only 57 percent of community college students apply for Federal student aid. Adjusting the distribution of Pell grants so that the community college share is based on the application rate of career students would result in the community college sector receiving 52 percent and not the 30 percent of Pell grants. So simplify FAFSA and have community colleges provide more assistance to their students in completing their application. Do not implicitly criticize our sector for doing right by our students.

To read the rest, go here: http://the3rdleg.blogspot.com/2010/01/cca-highlights-unfair-criticism-of-pell.html

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