The following is authored by CCA President and CEO Harris N. Miller:
Re: "College Recruiting Scrutinized: Loopholes that allow paying extra for putting 'asses in classes' could soon be closed," Feb. 13
I was incredibly disappointed by the unfairly negative portrayal of career colleges in Eliza Krigman’s article on student recruitment.
For instance, she asserted that the "explosive success" of career colleges "raises questions about quality control." But she did not provide any sort of evidence or expert testimony to support the claim. In fact, the graduation rate for four-year career colleges is comparable to other four-year institutions while the graduation rate for two-year programs is more than twice that of community colleges, according to the Department of Education. For career-minded students, the ultimate test of quality has to be the marketplace. Nationally accredited institutions in our sector on average place 70 percent of graduates in field.
Ms. Krigman also made much of the fact that career college students represent "a disproportionate share of loan defaults." But she failed to explain, or even hint at, the reason for this. The default rate is tied to the demographics and socioeconomic status of students and whether or not they graduate -- not the type of institution. Cohort default rates for college dropouts are the same, regardless of the type of institution they attend. Career colleges serve a much higher percentage of low income and minority students than traditional colleges, and we are very proud of this fact. But offering education to students who would otherwise be shut out of college means we’ve traditionally had a higher default rate than institutions that primarily serve wealthier students. That said, career colleges are working hard to reduce defaults by assisting students in meeting their financial obligations -- just as we are working hard to help them find jobs upon graduation.
Finally, Ms. Krigman quoted me as saying that the State Department conducts regular audits of career That would certainly be news to me. To be sure, I said the Department of Education and various state agencies and their accreditors.