For-Profit Colleges' Marketers Generate Leads, and Controversy

For-Profit Colleges' Marketers Generate Leads, and Controversy 1

Mark Abramson for The Chronicle

Attendees at a conference of lead generators are part of an industry that drives enrollment in the for-profit higher-education sector. The industry's practices have been getting more scrutiny from lawmakers and federal regulators.

It was a corporate sales gathering like any other, with the requisite swapping of business cards and hawking of products in the vendor hall. But LeadsCon, a conference held in New York in July, served a growing ecosystem of companies that fuel the marketing of for-profit education. Like for-profit education itself, these companies increasingly find themselves the target of criticism of their activities.

The conference was a meeting of "lead generators": marketing companies that