December 11th, 2015
Are you thinking of getting a college education? Do you believe that a college education will help you excel in the job market? Do you want to graduate debt free? Do you want to get a diploma or degree that is recognized by employers and other colleges? Then, don’t get seduced by the glitz and hype of some for-profit colleges promising you guaranteed employment and easy access to higher education. Don’t let them lure you into believing that you’re getting an education that’s going to be worth something. It will be worth something alright, tuition so high which you can only pay by taking on huge student loans that you would need to pay off whether or not you complete your program.
What boggles the mind is how unaware we are of the very affordable and accessible community college systems in our very own backyards. So unaware, that people turn to the private for-profits as their salvation to acquiring higher education with a chance to land a good job once they graduate. It has a lot to do with marketing something the community colleges don’t but private for-profits do with a vengeance. They advertise on TV, radio, print, online and take huge bill boards on city streets and freeways. They recruit aggressively and pay their recruiters a commission. Some even take drastic measures in their recruiting tactics like the for-profit college in Florida that used strippers and exotic dancers to impersonate admissions officers in an effort to lure the unsuspecting male candidates to register. This college, which was shut down in June 2012 after an FBI raid, falsified high school diplomas for students who hadn’t graduated from high school or didn’t have one, falsified financial aid and grant applications, and if that wasn’t enough falsified attendance records and backdated students’ enrollments to make sure they qualified for aid.
The for-profit college in Florida is not alone in its complicity to bilk millions of dollars of federal funds under the guise of student loans. Recently, the spotlight was thrown on another college with charges of misleading students into committing to unaffordable loans by falsely advertising job prospects, then using illegal debt collection tactics to force distressed students to pay up, according to a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. So that 40,000 students enrolled in this college’s 50 plus campuses aren’t left in the lurch, the US Department of Education is helping broker a deal with a nonprofit student loan guarantee agency to buy the failing college. It’s a mess and the students are the ones who’re left with a huge debt burden. All this could have been avoided had the students received honest and proper counseling at the high school level about access to higher education opportunities through the community college system.
For the uninitiated, in the United States, community colleges, sometimes called junior colleges, technical colleges, two-year colleges, or city colleges, are primarily two-year public institutions providing higher education and lower-level tertiary education, granting certificates, diplomas, and associate’s degrees. Many also offer continuing and adult education. After graduating from a community college, some students transfer to a four-year liberal arts college or university for two to three years to complete a bachelor’s degree. They also offer career education to the traditional two-year student who graduates with an Associate Degree and directly enters the workforce
US community colleges need to better promote themselves by spreading the word about their programs, accessibility, affordability and opportunities. They need to do this to help serve their community so that people don’t fall prey to the false promises of college degrees and prospects of employment by those who have nothing but their own best interest and profit margins at heart.
For a list of community colleges, please visit the links below:
The Frustrated Evaluator