For-Profit Colleges

Topics: Higher education, University, Academic degree Pages: 3 (862 words) Published: December 5, 2013

“The Booming Business of For-Profit Colleges”
Higher education is a very profitable field, and because of that, for-profit schools have been placed under scrutiny. In the documentary College Inc., Michael Smith, the correspondent, investigates the promise and tremendous growth of for-profit colleges in the higher education industry. With the student’s best interests in mind, many people have begun to question the integrity of these schools. However, they do not take into account the benefits that these for-profit colleges can offer to non-traditional students, giving them the opportunity to obtain a quality education, and marketable job skills. For-profit colleges are continuously accepting the abundance of students who have realized that they need to go back to school because jobs are scarce, and education is needed. Advertising plays a huge part in the large number of students enrolled in for-profit colleges. Successful colleges typically spend twenty to twenty five percent of their total revenue on advertising. This marketing encourages students to take the next step and enroll themselves in a college that they may not be academically or financially ready for. Because College Inc. presents the audience with interviews from multiple sources including former students, school executives, government officials, and enrollment advisors, it effectively portrays the many different perspectives of the industry, and the tension within it.

Michael Clifford, a former musician who never went to college, purchases struggling traditional colleges, and turns them into for-profit companies. He believes that it takes the three M’s to turn a college around: Money, management, and marketing. To fund these turnaround projects, Clifford presents to his investors the benefits of putting money into fixing these colleges. From an investor’s point of view, for-profit colleges can be a huge source of income. Jeffery Silber, a senior analyst at BMO Capital Markets, says “From a...

Cited: Durrance, Chris, John Maggio, and Martin Smith. “College Inc.” PBS Frontline. PBS Frontline, May 4, 2010. Web. 29 October 2013.
Durrance, Chris, John Maggio, and Martin Smith. “College Inc.” PBS Frontline. PBS Frontline, May 4, 2010. Web. 29 October 2013.
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