Author: Davis, Crystal D
Date published: January 5, 2012
Journal code: BIHE
For-profit schools are getting away with fraud, leaving students thousands of dollars in debt because states are continuing to shirk their oversight duties, a recently released report has found. The report "State Inaction: Gaps in State Oversight of ForProfit Higher Education," by the National Consumer Law Center's Student Loan Borrower Assistance Project cites inflated job placement rates, grade manipulation and illegal recruitment practices as examples of the fraud that's flourishing in for-profit education. While the NCLC noted that while the federal government and some states have been cracking down on the schools, most others have lax oversight. The findings:
* Too many states have too many schools and too few regulators to police them. Some of the worst offenders include Washington (187 schools for every regulator), Wyoming (12 to 1) and Oklahoma (110 to 1)
* Too many education industry members sit on the oversight boards, creating a conflict of interest.
* Too many state regulatory agencies have too broad a mission, leaving them unable to ensure school quality and solvency.
Many states also wrongly see for-profit schools as the federal government's responsibility, the NCLC warned, and, thus, are unwilling to tighten regulation.