A survey conducted by consulting firm Carl Marks Advisors reveals a key finding on the graduates of for-profit colleges that negates the media’s unrelenting mantra against the industry: their on-the-job performance is just as good as, if not better than, that of traditional college graduates.

Carl Marks Advisors surveyed 425 human resources professionals and corporate executives involved in the hiring process to “better understand employers’ perceptions surrounding the value of online and for-profit degrees.” 95 percent of respondents reported the on-the-job performance of for-profit college graduates as average, above average or outstanding.

Given the heightened reputation of all for-profit colleges as “bad actors” and the unfounded assumption that they fail to provide valuable programs, these findings are rather significant and serve as indisputable proof that many do, in fact, prepare their students for success.

To report high marks for the job performance of the for-profit college graduates assessed in this survey implies that they were equipped with the necessary skills, knowledge and ability to fulfill their work responsibilities. In other words, they had been prepared – so much so that some of them were rated higher than their “traditional” college graduates.

While this finding does not come as a surprise to us (we can proudly say that many of our for-profit colleges have yielded significant student outcomes for many years), it is likely to be unexpected to those who only hear the story through the mainstream media, with its tendency toward bias against for-profit colleges.

But, as we’ve been saying all along in our effort to combat the Gainful Employment regulation, a fair analysis of for-profit colleges should be grounded in sound, relevant and comprehensive data – not an ideological bias. This survey offers the former and is a welcome reminder that you cannot argue with facts.

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