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Debate renews on for-profit colleges

Amy Scott Jul 21, 2011
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Jeremy Hobson: Today, the Chairman of the Senate Education Committee Democrat Tom Harkin of Iowa is holding a roundtable discussion on for-profit colleges. Specifically, he’s looking at how to reduce the high rate of defaults on federal student loans used to pay for attendance at those schools.

From the Marketplace Education Desk at WYPR in Baltimore, Amy Scott Reports.


Amy Scott: Harkin says for-profit colleges get $30 billion a year from federal student aid, but too many of their students wind up with debts they can’t pay and dim job prospects. Harkin says he’s hoping for some good suggestions…

Tom Harkin: On how we move forward to make sure that the taxpayers’ dollars are better invested, and to make sure that students get a good education.

Harkin’s Republican colleagues have boycotted the hearings, calling them biased. Today’s panel includes the CEO of Devry, one of the biggest for-profit college chains. But Brian Moran with the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities says most of the panelists are critics of the industry.

Brian Moran: You may describe it as a roundtable, but it’s one with sharp corners.

Yesterday Moran’s group sued to block a new federal rule aimed at making sure graduates earn enough to pay their debts.

I’m Amy Scott for Marketplace.

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