The risk of going into (some) student loan debt in exchange for a chance at specific jobs, salaries, lifestyles, etc is one that may not seem like much of a decision to many people. But when I read stories like this article about for-profit schools that take advantage of a lack of knowledge about higher education and prey upon people’s dreams, it’s hard for me to to find the right words. There are always many sides to a story, sure, and even under terrible circumstances, some people will still succeed in their goals. But… the story below about the Academy of Art University in San Francisco is one of many for-profit stories that has caught my attention lately. I would like to think that there could be a place for “for-profit” with a high regard for transparency, student job placement, and honest assessments of college readiness. But I haven’t come across that story yet.
Check out the article below, and keep in mind that for-profit of not-for-profit, a school should always be able to answer your questions with honesty. Even if the honest answer is that their school would not be the best fit for you.
One of many quotes from this article that struck me:
“Mallory Lynch, a former admissions representative who resigned in February, says managers told her to woo students with success stories and avoid mentioning the dropout rate. She felt uncomfortable selling the school to people who were clearly unprepared (including an unemployed mother of four, those who couldn’t afford the $100 application fee or prospective online candidates who had no computers).
‘We tell them anything is possible and that we’re going to give them the skills they need to succeed,’ Lynch says. ‘It felt problematic to pressure them and tell them they can afford it when we knew they were going to drop out within a few weeks after school starts.'”