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For-Profit Universities: Why Are They Growing?

Posted by Confessions of the Professions in Articles

Eduardo Dieguez

http://www.lifteducation.org/

 

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Over the last decade, Americans have become increasingly used to viewing advertisements regarding For Profit Schools. These schools fall under a variety of names and are typically located online. Some examples include University of Phoenix, Capella University, Kaplan University, Northcentral University, and Strayer University. These schools have more active students than most people even realize. University of Phoenix has almost five hundred thousand students both on campus and online. These numbers mean that the schools themselves require some consideration. Most people are curious as to the quality of these schools, and seeing as they are typically more expensive than the average state college it’s not hard to understand why. The reality is that these schools are not listed in the “Top Schools” rankings and aren’t expected to be added in any time soon. So, why the interest?

Marketing

These For-Profit Universities spend heavily on corporate relationships as well as creating great value for their corporate partners. This marketing is benefited by positive relationships with corporations that allow the For-Profits to gain discounted tuition for their employees.

Quick path to Graduation

Most of these For-Profit Universities advertise their accelerated course loads and make sure to reiterate how quickly students can graduate. These promises are turned into reality with programs that test student’s life/work experience in order to give them credits for work they already know. State schools are willing to do similar tests for English and math programs mainly, whereas For-Profits will credit you for anything you can reasonably prove to them.

Quick Response Times

For-Profit Universities are efficient lean machines when compared against state schools. Almost every request for information at these schools is replied to promptly and without hassle. State schools can’t afford this luxury as severe budget cuts have crippled whole departments making it impossible for requests to be responded to quickly.

Advertisement

Every year these Universities spend heavily on advertising in order to entice potential students. Often times these advertisements are done in underhanded or deceptive ways, such as paying for their school listing to appear first for searches such as “top schools” or “good MBA programs”. The potential students searching are never informed as to the fact that these results are only showing up first because they paid for that privilege. Often times more legitimate results will be buried back a couple pages in the search engine. This is where For-Profit Universities excel at gaining new students. Never doubt the power of affective advertisement.

Conclusion

For-Profit Universities are complicated to discuss fairly as each school is essentially its own organization. Most statements being made are generalizations and I realize that some For-Profits could very well be legitimate organizations. Still it deserves to be said that these schools are often true to their name and searching to maximize profits and not your IQ. It’s highly recommended that you save your money and time and go to a state school of your choosing. While these schools may not be as quick or streamlined, they cost less, provide real education, and are known and respected around the world.


This article was written by Eduardo Dieguez from the LiftEducation.org blogging team. Eduardo is a 1st generation American born Cuban that is currently in pursuit of his AA Degree at Valencia CC.



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