Marketing Efforts of For-Profit Colleges Disproportionately Target Black Communities

A new study by the Student Borrower Protection Center finds that predatory for-profit schools are disproportionately targeting communities of color.

The report plots the location of for-profit schools in cities across the Midwest, showing how these institutions often cluster in certain areas to exploit borrowers of color by offering programs of dubious value financed by expensive and hard to repay student debt. Further, new data analysis reveals that, at the national level, for-profit schools are roughly twice as likely to set up in majority Latino or majority Black zip codes as compared to majority-White zip codes. Majority-Black zip codes are over 75 percent more likely to have a for-profit college than zip codes that are not majority Black.

Much like payday lenders, title lenders, check cashers, and other predatory financing companies that set up shop to target Black and Latino communities, the new report found a similar, disturbing pattern with for-profit schools. This is particularly concerning as enrollment in these schools has surged during the pandemic.

“In many Black and Latino communities, there is an overabundance of predatory institutions that recruit students with promises of higher education or job training but leave them trapped in debt and with limited opportunities for economic mobility,” said Seth Frotman, the executive director of the Student Borrower Protection Center. “The way these institutions target communities of color is exacerbating racial inequality and needs to be forcefully addressed on the city, state, and national levels.”

The full study, Mapping Exploitation: Examining For-Profit Colleges as Financial Predators in Communities of Color, may be downloaded by clicking here.

Related Articles


  1. These for-profit intuitions will target minorities aggressively. What is worse is that these for-profits will use an operator of the same to reel in doomed prospective students. The Biden Administration just forgave billions of for-profit student loans.

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Online Articles That May Be of Interest to JBHE Readers

Each week, JBHE will provide links to online articles that may be of interest to our readers. Here are this week’s selections.

Recent Books of Interest to African American Scholars

The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education regularly publishes a list of new books that may be of interest to our readers. The books included are on a wide variety of subjects and present many different points of view.

Higher Education Gifts or Grants of Interest to African Americans

Here is this week’s news of grants or gifts to historically Black colleges and universities or for programs of particular interest to African Americans in higher education.

In Memoriam: James Morris Lawson Jr., 1928-2024

Lawson enrolled at the Vanderbilt Divinity School in 1958. While he was a student, he helped organize sit-ins at lunch counters in downtown Nashville. In 1960, he was expelled from the university for his participation in civil rights protests.

Featured Jobs