Friday, May 21, 2010

Dilpoma mills spend millions to stop regulation

In response to for-profit colleges' escalating student loan default rates and deceptive recruitment practices the federal government has proposed tough new regulations.

In response,these lucrative diploma mills like Corinthian College Inc. and the Education Development Management Corporation (EDMC) which have announced plans to begin operations in Milwaukee are spending millions of dollars on lobbyists to undermine the legislation.

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that:

For-profit lobbyists and executives are swarming Capitol Hill and federal agencies...

For-profit colleges, faced with the threat of program closures, have gone on a lobbying and public-relations blitz, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in an attempt to beat back an Education Department proposal to cut off federal student aid to for-profit programs whose graduates carry high debt-to-income loads.

In the five months since the department offered its controversial "gainful-employment proposal," for-profit colleges and their chief association have spent at least $620,000 lobbying members of Congress, the Education Department, and the Office of Management and Budget, which is reviewing the department's proposed rule (see related article, with tables). The University of Phoenix, the nation's largest for-profit institution, has taken out ads in major publications, including The Chronicle, defending the sector and arguing against the rule, while for-profit colleges are urging their students to sign on to a petition opposing the plan.

Last year, Corinthian alone spent $460,000 and the EDMC $270,000. In 2009-2010Proprietary colleges spent a total of $3.1 million on lobbying.

Lobbying by For-Profit College Groups, 2009-10

Apollo Group Inc. $560,000
Corinthian Colleges Inc. $460,000
DeVry Inc. $460,000
Career Education Corp. $360,000
Bridgepoint Education $270,000
Education Management Corp. $270,000
Career College Association $250,000
American Public University System $240,000
Kaplan Inc. $200,000
Capella University $60,000
ITT Educational Services Inc. $30,000
Concorde Career Colleges Inc. $20,000
Total $3,180,000

Notes on lobbying expenditures: Figures are approximate because federal rules do not require reporting of actual amounts of lobbying expenditures. To avoid double-counting of outside lobbyist expenses, The Chronicle took into account that organizations employing in-house lobbyists must include the costs of outside lobbyists in their quarterly reports. Figures show spending for all of the 2009 calendar year and the first quarter of 2010.
Source: Chronicle analysis of Lobbying Disclosure Act Database, U.S. Senate

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

what is a dilpoma mill?

Michael Rosen said...

Diploma mills are for-profit institutions that are in the business of education as opposed to being educational institutions. They lure students into enrolling, generally at exorbitant prices, provide them with credits that do not transfer to other colleges and universities, have very low placement rates and leave their students with huge debts resulting in high student loan default rates.

Anonymous said...

Your article is interesting, but I am a product of one of these institutions. I received assistance in getting my first job out of college and currently am a President of a Fortune 1000 company. I would suggest you do a well rounded investigation prior to printing such a one sided story. Overall I feel it is very subjective and unfounded. Maybe if you went to one of these institutions for Journalism you would have all your facts before going to print.

Allan said...

I find it fascinating that your definition of a diploma mill could also fit a six-figure liberal arts degree from some of our top universities. It may be a better name attached to the diploma, but a $12.50 an hour job as a librarian assistant from a $120K+ education should be just as much an issue. Should USC stop granting Art History degrees? Probably the only saving grace in the difference is that the USC grad has someone to fall back on to make the payments.

Anonymous said...

What a stupid article.

Anonymous said...

Other than the lobbying figure (and pretty much all publicly traded companies spend money on lobbying, there are no facts in this article and even the opinion is unsupported.

Allan said...

Stick to restaurants, Michael.

Anonymous said...

You definition of a diploma mill clearly shows you know nothing of what you are speaking. The institutions mentioned in your article are accredited by the same governing bodies as many of our nations ivy league schools.

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