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That For-Profit School You’re Considering May Not Be What It Seems
Service members and veterans are attractive candidates for any college or university. There are many esteemed universities that court us for the diversity and dynamic perspective we bring to campus, but some other schools want us for other reasons. We often are suckered into attending schools that are more expensive, have lower graduation rates, and are perceived as worthless by many employers.
Why do these predatory for-profit colleges want veterans so badly? Follow the money. Service members and veterans provide guaranteed money through tuition assistance and G.I. Bill programs. That is money that these organizations can use to justify traditional students, who often rely on loans to fund their education, especially federal financial aid. In fact, according to a Senate report published last year, every dollar from a service member or a veteran lets a college or university make nine more dollars from other students.
Some members of Congress are working to fix this enormous problem for veterans seeking an education. But until this incentive is removed, for-profit groups will continue to target the military and veteran populations.
But as a service member, you see none of this as you explore your educational future. The most aggressive for-profit schools focus on the things that you care about, such as transferring credits, class flexibility, and out-of-pocket costs.
Even though the themes are similar, each college sells you in its own way. The University of Phoenix offers specialized military recruiters “who understand the culture and lingo you’re used to.” American Military University says that it is cheaper than the other online options.
The problem with all this is that it adds up to a completely unjustified impression that for-profits colleges, especially their online programs, are somehow the best option for a service member or veteran. This is probably not true for many of us. Don’t get sold by a for-profit school, or any other. You need to give college a lot more thought.
The most important thing to examine is the claim about employment. Are for-profit colleges better at helping graduates a job than traditional options? The answer is almost certainly no. A recent study by the National Center of Longitudinal Data in Education Research suggests that job seekers should focus on public options. Researchers sent out thousands of resumes, some listing for-profit, two-year degrees and others with a corresponding public degree. There was no significant difference in employer responses, meaning they are basically the same as far as employers go. If you’re using your resume to apply for jobs, don’t count on a for-profit degree.
Consider the latest political arguments over a Department of Education regulation going into effect on July 1. The gainful employment rule requires that graduates from all colleges and universities maintain an average debt ratio below 8% (for total income) or 20% (for discretionary income). If a for-profit school fails to achieve one of these two benchmarks, it will be at risk for losing its ability to participate in taxpayer-funded federal student aid programs.
The Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities, which already killed several similar regulations, is fighting this one, too. It’s not hard to see why: the Department of Education reported that of the 1,400 institutions that would fail to meet these standards, 99% of them are for-profit groups. These groups are currently educating over 840,000 students across the country.
The next big claim many for-profit schools make is about cost. They often present themselves as the cheapest option, with special rates for military and veteran students. There is no nice way to say this: It’s a lie. When you look at private options, you will be paying an average of $15,130, versus $8,893 for public four-year schools and only $3,264 at public two-year schools.
You are not getting much for your money, either. Default rates for student loans are three to four times higher for students who attended for-profit schools. Government data looking at graduation rates for four-year institutions shows a big gap among colleges and universities. Across the board, nonprofit institutions do best, followed by public institutions, with for-profits dead last. Retention rates follow the same pattern.
The last thing to consider is difficult to quantify, but it’s the most important consideration. Ask yourself, “What do I want out of college?” Do you just want to get a degree, and that’s it? Be careful about the “check in the box” mentality. College is about more than a piece of paper.
That “check in the box” attitude can get you into trouble. For-profit organizations make a strong case for transferring credits, which should help you fast track to a degree. Sounds good, but many times, you will not actually receive a lot of the credit you are promised. Transferring for-profit credits to other schools is very difficult. If you are going to transfer, it’s much better to choose public options that are located in the same area. That’s how 90% of transfer credits happen. In any case, many successful veterans recognize the importance of college as a time to familiarize themselves with civilian culture again. It’s good for veterans to spend time working with civilians, especially in collaborative environments like classrooms. As a friend put it, “You don’t want to talk to your first civilian at a job interview.”
A degree is a great thing to have in today’s economy. Whether you are going to be an officer, want points toward a promotion, or are looking for a pathway to a good career, it is critical to understand what a degree can do for you. Don’t let someone else rush you into one of the most important decisions of your life.
UPDATE: Portions of this article that refer to DeVry University's marketing practices have been removed after DeVry agreed to a $100 million settlement of a Federal Trade Commission lawsuit "alleging that the school misled prospective students with ads that touted high employment success rates and income levels upon graduation," according to the FTC. That marketing language referenced in the article is no longer used. (Updated 2/27/2017; 11:49 a.m.)
'It just happened' — the Iraq War’s first living Medal of Honor recipient recalls his harrowing fight against 5 insurgents
On Nov, 10, 2004, Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia knew that he stood a good chance of dying as he tried to save his squad.
Bellavia survived the intense enemy fire and went on to single-handedly kill five insurgents as he cleared a three-story house in Fallujah during the iconic battle for the city. For his bravery that day, President Trump will present Bellavia with the Medal of Honor on Tuesday, making him the first living Iraq war veteran to receive the award.
In an interview with Task & Purpose, Bellavia recalled that the house where he fought insurgents was dark and filled with putrid water that flowed from broken pipes. The battle itself was an assault on his senses: The stench from the water, the darkness inside the home, and the sounds of footsteps that seemed to envelope him.
With the Imperial Japanese Army hot on his heels, Oscar Leonard says he barely slipped away from getting caught in the grueling Bataan Death March in 1942 by jumping into a choppy bay in the dark of the night, clinging to a log and paddling to the Allied-fortified island of Corregidor.
After many weeks of fighting there and at Mindanao, he was finally captured by the Japanese and spent the next several years languishing under brutal conditions in Filipino and Japanese World War II POW camps.
Now, having just turned 100 years old, the Antioch resident has been recognized for his 42-month ordeal as a prisoner of war, thanks to the efforts of his friends at the Brentwood VFW Post #10789 and Congressman Jerry McNerney.
McNerney, Brentwood VFW Commander Steve Todd and Junior Vice Commander John Bradley helped obtain a POW award after doing research and requesting records to surprise Leonard during a birthday party last month.
Hundreds of Marines will join their British counterparts at a massive urban training center this summer that will test the leathernecks' ability to fight a tech-savvy enemy in a crowded city filled with innocent civilians.
The North Carolina-based Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, will test drones, robots and other high-tech equipment at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center near Butlerville, Indiana, in August.
They'll spend weeks weaving through underground tunnels and simulating fires in a mock packed downtown city center. They'll also face off against their peers, who will be equipped with off-the-shelf drones and other gadgets the enemy is now easily able to bring to the fight.
It's the start of a four-year effort, known as Project Metropolis, that leaders say will transform the way Marines train for urban battles. The effort is being led by the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory, based in Quantico, Virginia. It comes after service leaders identified a troubling problem following nearly two decades of war in the Middle East: adversaries have been studying their tactics and weaknesses, and now they know how to exploit them.
WASHINGTON/RIYADH (Reuters) - President Donald Trump imposed new U.S. sanctions onIran on Monday following Tehran's downing of an unmanned American drone and said the measures would target Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Trump told reporters he was signing an executive order for the sanctions amid tensions between the United States and Iran that have grown since May, when Washington ordered all countries to halt imports of Iranian oil.
Trump also said the sanctions would have been imposed regardless of the incident over the drone. He said the supreme leaders was ultimately responsible for what Trump called "the hostile conduct of the regime."
"Sanctions imposed through the executive order ... will deny the Supreme Leader and the Supreme Leader's office, and those closely affiliated with him and the office, access to key financial resources and support," Trump said.
While it can be difficult to peg down just how star-spangled a state is, one indicator is the rate at which citizens enlist in the military, especially during the United States' longest period of sustained conflict. At least, that's the thinking behind WalletHub's new study, 2019's Most Patriotic States in America.