An editorial published recently in The Washington Post is worthy of mention, as it offers an enlightening, rather uncommon perspective that APC wholeheartedly shares when it comes to the mainstream media’s coverage of the for-profit college sector.

Titled simply, “Correcting the Falsehoods about For-Profit Colleges”, author Lanny Davis, a Washington, D.C.-based lawyer and representative of the career college sector, debunks the common misconceptions of for-profit colleges, which have been repeatedly and shamelessly lambasted in the media during the debate regarding the Department of Education’s Gainful Employment rule.

In his argument, Mr. Davis focuses on countering the following three falsehoods when performance by for-profit colleges is compared to community colleges:

  • For-profits have substantially higher tuitions costs;
  • For-profits have substantially higher default rates by their students; and
  • For-profits have substantially lower graduation rates than community colleges

Pointing to factual data and analyses, Mr. Davis shows how each of these assertions is false, subsequently concluding that political leaders and members of the media are driven more by an ideological agenda than anything else when it comes to regulating and reporting on the for-profit college industry. As he states:

“We can and should support a successful for-profit college sector as well as quality community colleges. Both are needed and both should be required to meet the highest standards of education and transparency. This is the right policy for students and for America – based on facts, not falsehoods. It is also good politics.”

Kudos to Mr. Davis for reminding us that facts are difficult to argue with – and should not be ignored.


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