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For Profit Colleges A Debt Sentence for African-American Students?

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[A]s a senior in college, I have become very familiar with the vast amount of money and time that is needed to further ones education. Compared to the traditional public four-year institution in which I attend, students attending for-profit colleges are more likely to acquire an uncontrollable amount of student loan debt and are unable to fulfill the requirements needed to graduate.

Went to school in Baton Rouge for a couple of years
My college career got downed with a couple of beers
Came back home, now I gotta pay back loans

― “It’s Your World (Part 1 & 2)” by Common

According to a recent study conducted by the Center for Responsible Lending, 28% of African-American students enrolled in a four-year institution attend a for-profit college, compared to only 10% of white students.

The study also indicates that black students who attend for-profit colleges such as Devry Institute, University of Phoenix, and Everest College, for example, are hit hardest when the time comes to pay for their education. African-Americans and Latinos attending these colleges are 1.5 and 3 times more likely to rely on loans as their primary payment method, as opposed to their peers at other universities.

“Students of color, who are often the first in their families to go to college, enroll in for-profit colleges at higher rates than other students. But many for-profit colleges create risky debt and produce poor educational outcomes, despite the hard work and money that these students are willing to invest in their educations,” said CRL deputy research director Leslie Parrish.

Not only do these students tend to fall short financially, diving deeper into a sea of debt, but they are also more likely to suffer academically, as well.

Of the number of students attending for-profit colleges, nearly 80% of African-American and two-thirds of Latino students are unable to complete their programs of study.

“The higher education finance system should help fulfill these students’ ambitions to use college to increase their earning potential and the wealth of their families and neighborhoods. But our research demonstrates that, at especially for-profit colleges, the opposite happens” added Pete Smith, a researcher at CRL.

“For-profit colleges make the topsy-turvy claim that, because they are the only option for students of color, they should not be accountable for bad outcomes,” concluded Maura Dundon, senior policy counsel at CRL. “This effectively blames students of color and sticks them with all the financial risk, instead of making an honest attempt to help them achieve their dreams.”

 

COLLEGEHIPHOP Writer
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