Durbin Statement on Decline in For-Profit College Enrollment

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today made the following statement after reading reports that new enrollments in Kaplan University declined by 47% in the fourth quarter of last year.  In January, the University of Phoenix reported a 42% decline over the same period.
“Despite spending millions of dollars on advertising and securing a favorable vote by House Republicans to shield their industry from oversight, for-profit schools across America are facing a wholesale exodus of students.
“A record of overpriced education, crippling student loans and suspect diplomas are not only catching up with the worst for-profit schools, they are casting doubt on the better schools.
“The industry faces three choices: establish enforceable standards for transparency, quality and accountability; accept reasonable government oversight to close the bad schools; or be prepared to face further declines in enrollment.”
The Continuing Resolution (H.R. 1) passed by the House of Representatives last week contained a provision that would block the Department of Education from requiring for-profit colleges and other vocational programs to prove that they prepare their graduates for gainful employment.  The rule, opposed by the for-profit college industry, would apply to for-profit college programs as well as many public 2-year programs.