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Charlotte Talks: More For-Profit Colleges Close Their Doors. Do Students Get What They Pay For?

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Thursday, August 9, 2018

A closer look at for-profit colleges. A number have closed their doors recently and the government is pushing to change how these schools are regulated. Do they give students what they pay for? We look for answers.

A number of for-profit colleges are closing their doors or have closed in recent years - including several in Charlotte - ITT Technical Institute, the Art Institute of Charlotte, Regency Beauty Institute, King's College and most notably the Charlotte School of Law. Students at these institutions had little warning their schools were in trouble and now many of them are saddled with debt and no degrees.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is pushing for rules that would change how these schools are regulated, including a rule that critics say would make it harder for students who claim they were defrauded to seek debt relief.

Aside from TV commercials, for-profit colleges are little-known to most of us. Only about 5 percent of North Carolina students attend these types of schools. 

Do these institutions fulfill the promise of higher education? Who do they attract? Do students get what they pay for? And what could new rules from the U.S. Education Department mean for the industry and students? Mike Collins explores that and more.

Guests

Eric Kelderman, senior staff reporter for The Chronicle of Higher Education

Dr. Tressie McMillan Cottom, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Virginia Commonwealth University and Author of Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy

Steve Gunderson, President and CEO of the Association of Career Education Colleges and Universities

Erin Keever is Senior Producer of WFAE's Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. She has been with the show since joining the station in 2006. She's a native Charlottean.