STATEMENT: Campus Progress’s Anne Johnson on Senate Committee’s Report on For-Profit Colleges
Washington D.C. — Campus Progress applauds the leadership of Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) for his tireless efforts to shine a light on the predatory practices of the for-profit college industry. The report released today by the Senate Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions (HELP) Committee is the culmination of a two-year investigation of the industry. With this report, Senator Harkin has shown determination to find the truth and hold accountable an industry that is often more focused on profit margins than the future of the students they serve.
Anne Johnson, Director of Campus Progress, released the following statement:
Senator Harkin has been a leader on so many issues impacting America’s college students and their families. He has always been a strong advocate for better and tougher regulations on the for-profit college industry. The in-depth report released today by the Senate HELP Committee clearly demonstrates why holding the for-profit college industry accountable is so critically important.
We believe in the importance of investing in higher education, but we are troubled by the fact that, as the report states, $32 billion of taxpayers’ hard-earned money is going to companies that operate schools that leave the majority of students with often insurmountable debt and no degree. While students at for-profit colleges make up just 13 percent of America’s college students, they account for nearly half of all defaults on student loans. This is a serious issue that must be addressed now.
Today’s report is exactly what is needed to call attention to this issue. We hope that Congress will act by passing legislation that will hold these schools accountable and ensure students are aware of which colleges are truly looking out for their interests.