In recent years, media commentary on proprietary colleges has often presented a negative and one-sided view of the sector. While focusing on a handful of bad apples, critics fail to recognize the positive outcomes that many such institutions foster for students — many of whom would otherwise be unable to pursue higher education opportunities. It’s always refreshing to read coverage with a more balanced view of the Gainful Employment rule and a thoughtful look at its very real implications for the nontraditional students that our institutions so often serve.
Over the weekend, the editorial board of The Washington Post weighed in with a most welcome editorial that astutely noted the valuable role of for-profit colleges in educating these underserved student demographics and the devastating impact that the Gainful Employment rule could have if implemented.
It furthermore reiterated what we’ve said before: accountability for student outcomes should be encouraged across all higher education institutions — not just proprietary ones — and moreover, it should be based on realistic metrics rather than arbitrary measures that most public and nonprofit colleges would struggle to meet.
So, kudos to the Post for bringing to light these poignant arguments, and for encouraging meaningful dialogue around how best to continue serving students.