Blacks at For-Profit Colleges: Poor Outcomes and Large Amounts of Debt

logo-whiteA new report from the Center for Responsible Lending finds that students who attend for-profit colleges and universities are more likely to incur large amounts of student loan debt. While these for-profit schools enroll about 12 percent of all students in higher education, nearly half of all student loan defaults occur at these for-profit schools. Blacks make up a disproportionate percentage of students at these for-profit schools.

About 28 percent of African Americans enrolled in four-year colleges attend for-profit institutions. For Whites, only 10 percent of all students are enrolled in for-profit institutions. Data in the report shows that Blacks are 1.5 times as likely as African Americans at not-for-profit schools to rely on student loans to pay for their education. And Blacks at for-profit schools incur larger amounts of student loan debt than Blacks at not-for-profit institutions. Only one in five Black students who study at for-profit institutions complete their degree program, according to the study.

Maura Dundon, senior policy counsel at the Center for Responsible Lending states that “the disparate impact of for-profit college debt on students of color is cause for serious concern. For-profit colleges make the topsy-turvy claim that, because they are the only option for students of color, they should not be accountable for bad outcomes. This effectively blames students of color and sticks them with all the financial risk, instead of making an honest attempt to help them achieve their dreams.”

The report, Do Students of Color Profit from For-Profit College? Poor Outcomes and High Debt Hamper Attendees’ Futures, was authored by Peter Smith and Leslie Parrish. It may be downloaded by clicking here.


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