Home > higher education, Uncategorized, What's in my head now? > Don’t Blame For Profit’s Innovation! Blame State School’s LACK OF

Don’t Blame For Profit’s Innovation! Blame State School’s LACK OF


Am I one of the only people who want to say “thank you” to the for profit schools? To the online higher education market? Thank you University of Phoenix and Kaplan University and all of the other universities who had the courage almost a decade ago to take a risk. A risk that has not only provided individuals the opportunity to get their degrees even while working and taking care of families, but also paved the way and built the models that now allows state universities to offer these degrees online as well.

As congressional talks surrounding the negative impact online education has had on graduation rates and specifically loan default rates; what we are not hearing are long term solutions. We are hearing suggestions of band aids. Do I like the idea of the gainful employment laws? Yes! That said, if we are going to implement them, it should be done across the board and it needs government support to get started. What these lawmakers are failing to recognize is that it took guts, innovation, large investments; and a lot of time NOT being profitable for these for profit online education companies to get where they are today…and the model is less than TEN YEARS OLD. How can the for profit schools be expected to figure out HOW to raise their graduation rates and how to lower their default rates when most of them just recently figured out how to get students to graduate?

The disservice that has been committed in the higher education industry is not from the for profits; but rather – I blame the state universities; specifically, the marketing departments at these state universities. There are hundreds of state universities offering online programs at low to medium prices. We have seen everything from $7,000 M.Ed Programs all the way through $13,000 nursing programs. Not only are these programs far less expensive, but their graduation rates are higher. Again, as these state universities online degrees have only been around for about five years; perhaps there is not enough statistically significant data here, but it does look promising.

So instead of attempting to shut down an industry that has opened the doors for people to better their lives; why not work with the state universities to offer more of these programs that have displayed high graduation rates, low cohort default rates, and other positive statistics. The marketing teams at these schools are to blame; they are the ones not fighting for the budget or not taking the risks. If all of the for profits can run television, why can’t the state schools? It’s relatively inexpensive to run remnant television and these days, television can be run on a cost per inquiry basis. If the state universities and enrollment management companies are too “fearful” to go into the red for a couple years – maybe the government should be forcing them to hand over a portion of their revenue and allow the marketing geniuses at the for profit schools take a stab at branding and developing them.

It’s not the for profit schools that are the problem; it’s the state schools lack of motivation and understanding of how online education will better the lives of millions. The disservice is that of our state schools poor marketing, slow admissions, and fear of investment. The online for profits gave you a model to follow and then MAKE BETTER. Do it already.

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  1. July 7, 2010 at 3:22 am

    Hi Jamie. There has been discussions too that these online trainings are not so successful. I agree with you thanking these guys. I approve of online trainings and taking online degrees. But I agree with one mentioning that it requires a different kind of dedication and level of accountability.

    Some approach online education just about the same as attending a regular brick and mortar classes where your mind wanders while the instructor rants about the subject and leave it for review on your next available time. This is quite wrong.

    Speaking of online degrees, midpointers.com just added a new school, Colorado State University, which offers an online degree in public management.

    You might want to check it out! http://www.midpointers.com/Colorado-State-Global-Campus/

  2. July 17, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    I cannot believe this is true!

  3. dumaka
    August 3, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    There are hundreds of non-profit and public universities that offer online degrees. For-profits school suck, period! The only thing they care about is their damn bottom-line. I have seen people who graduated from UOP barely able to write a coherent sentence. Why should someone pay $65,000 for an online degree at a for-profit school when they can get the same (if not better) education online for half the price at a public university?

    Graduation rates are higher = false
    Far less expansive = false

    Please provide sources or data to back up these claims.

    Yes, state universities could market their degrees better but these colleges are not corporations aimed at making a profit like for-profits schools who commit millions (if not billions) on marketing instead of the value of their education.

    Not all online degrees are from for-profit schools.

    By the way, I graduated from University of Phoenix with a Bachelor degree and paid close to $20,000 when I could have only paid $5,000 at Park University, a non-profit public university who offers online degrees. For-profit school love to prey on people who don’t know any better expecially those in the military (which I’m afraid to admit to have fallen victim too.)

    • August 3, 2010 at 4:38 pm

      Wow. Angry, and certainly not without reason…I would be angry too if I had spent money on a degree when I could have done more research and gone elsewhere.

      A couple notes: 1) Making a general statement, “for profit schools suck” is just that; too general. You have had 1 experience with 1 school. Sounds like it sucked. That said, the other non-profit / public universities you are speaking of that offer online degrees; GOT INTO the online space because the “for profits” were the first to pioneer the way and show them how to do it. 2) Again on your second sentence; too general – “the only thing they care about is their damn bottom line”. Certainly education is a business; whether it be for profit or public. Anyone who tells you differently is lying. So let’s take a public university; the University of Florida (my alma mater). Their Online Masters Degree programs cost nearly twice ($40K vs. $25K) than the for profit avg. Masters degree offering.

      Taking one off examples (like UOP or UF) is somewhat meaningless, and certainly there are schools that are more money and schools that are less money. The PURPOSE of this post was to ‘thank the innovators that brought online education to the forefront and made it more of a norm’ – that was the for profit schools.

      Unsure where I wrote:

      Graduation rates are higher = false

      but if you point out, I’m happy to site for you.

      In reference to:

      Far less expansive = false

      Feel free to go look at the dept of education’s website. The highest number of enrolled students are at the for profit schools.

    • December 3, 2010 at 4:20 pm

      And you somehow think that not-for-profit schools are not about their bottom line? How is it possible that UCSD can be a publicly funded university and still charge $40k PER YEAR? For profit universities are certainly less concerned with research and development and more concerned with educating the masses, with this could come some unfortunate side effects like a dumbing down of the education “product”. On the flip side, “instead of attempting to shut down an industry that has opened the doors for people to better their lives; why not work with the state universities to offer more of these programs that have displayed high graduation rates, low cohort default rates, and other positive statistics.”

      • December 3, 2010 at 5:51 pm

        Love the passion. No, I don’t think that “not-for-profit” schools do not care about their bottom lines. Conversely, I launched a company that partnered with state universities (not for profit) and community colleges to offer the education experience online so they could deal to the masses. I agree with your statement, ” work with the state universities to offer more of these programs that have displayed high graduation rates, low cohort default rates, and other positive statistics.” and this is what I do currently. That said, that does not mean there is not room for both and if you look at the large state universities that have been able to go online and launch large programs, most of them have partnered with someone like Embanet, Colloquy, Presidium, HEH, University Alliance, etc. to do so; and if you look at the backgrounds of the management teams of those companies – you will find many of them started in the for profit EDU space.

  4. November 24, 2010 at 8:28 am

    hello I was luck to discover your topic in digg
    your subject is impressive
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