September 24, 2016

From for-profit colleges to student loans, at what point does sensible policy start to become political bullying?

nonprofit-for-profit

We can be remarkably two­faced as a nation when it comes to our higher education system. One day it’s the greatest in the world and the next it fails to meet students’ and employers’ needs and is a financial rip­off. It gets exhausting to keep track of whether we’re really good or really bad at all of this. Mark Twain once said we shouldn’t let the truth get in the way of a good story. There are a number of things about college that pundits and policymakers know but won’t discuss or even address, be it to protect their political stance

 

1. Public higher education isn’t really cheaper or better-performing than private higher education There’s how much something costs to make and how much people have to pay for it. Public colleges seem like cheaper alternatives to private non­profit and for­profit education but that’s only because taxpayers, depending on which state you’re from and which institution you attend, foot between 30 and 70 percent of the cost. Take that subsidy away and students at, say, the University of Georgia or Montana State University would be paying ­ and likely borrowing ­ one and a half to twice as much as they do now.

Link to article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/from-for-profit-colleges-to-student-loans-at-what_us_57cfa1fde4b0f831f7062522?platform=hootsuite

 

For-Profit Education Companies for PE Investors – Special Invitation

capital roundtable

MarketDrivenEDU.com is very pleased to be a partner of The Capital Roundtable for its full-day annual summer conference on “Private Equity Investing in For-Profit Education Focused Companies.”

 

Coming up on Tuesday, July 26, in New York City, the theme of this conference is
Life After November — The New Reality for For-Profit Education Investors

 

I’m reaching out to you, as a friend of my firm, to offer you a special VIP rate — $500 off the standard rate.  Your price to register is only $995!

 

Chairing the conference is James A. Rowan is a senior advisor & head of the education group at Stifel Investment Banking (“Stifel”).

You’ll hear from James and 20 other experienced for-profit education company pros who will share their perspectives and lessons learned.
At this conference, you’ll enjoy exceptional networking opportunities. The agenda includes ample time, with session breaks and a buffet lunch, to exchange ideas, swap business cards, and form new relationships.

 

To register, please call Sarah Burd, at 212-832-7300 ext. 0, or email her at sburd@capitalroundtable.com

 

Please be sure to mention MarketDrivenEDU to receive this low VIP rate.  And note this rate is not available online. 

ACICS in trouble, federal panel that oversees accrediting agencies voted to de-recognize the council

ACICS Logo

The Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools got closer to being terminated Thursday after the federal panel that oversees accrediting agencies voted to de-recognize the council, the largest national accreditor that oversees many for-profit colleges.

The National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI) soon will pass its decision back to the U.S. Department of Education, which last week recommendedshutting down ACICS and will have 90 days to decide the accreditor’s fate. An appeal by the accreditor and lawsuits could follow.

Once the decision is finalized, and if a court doesn’t block it, the 245 colleges ACICS accredits, which enroll up to 800,000 students, would have 18 months to find a new accreditor. Depending who you ask, that process either will be a mad scramble or an easy transition, at least for colleges with solid track records.

Either way, the decision to nix an agency that last year served as a gatekeeper for $4.76 billion in federal financial aid is an extraordinary move.

Link to article: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/06/24/federal-panel-votes-terminate-acics-and-tightens-screws-other-accreditors

 

The importance of accurate data, Eduventures report

data image

Defining a Data Quality Diet

While “data quality” may seem like an intuitive concept, its definition varies among stakeholders. For example, they may agree that data has to be accurate but disagree about how often data should be updated to meet the standard.

In order to find consensus, institutional leaders should establish common data quality dimensions and data quality thresholds. A “data quality dimension” is a way to classify institutional information and data-quality needs. Although there is a great deal ofdiscussion about the precise dimensions by which data quality can be determined, establishing these standards allows all stakeholders to view data quality through the same lens. Examples of these dimensions might include:

  • Completeness: All required data is provided
  • Uniqueness: Each entity (e.g., student) is uniquely represented in the database
  • Timeliness: Data represents the required period in time
  • Validity: Data matches established rules (e.g., format)
  • Accuracy: Data accurately represents reality
  • Consistency: Different data instances do not provide conflicting information about the same object (e.g., a college freshman whose age is listed as five years old)

Link to Article: http://www.eduventures.com/2016/06/two-foundational-steps-to-improving-data-quality/

 

Edufficient is a leading EDU advertising firm who specializes in High Accuracy & High Precision thus helping schools grow enrollments while reducing costs.

Udemy has raised a new round of funding, to the tune of $60 million

udemy

Udemy received a $60 million investment from the South African media company.

Online education startup Udemy has raised a new round of funding, to the tune of $60 million, from South African media company Naspers. Larry Illg, CEO of Naspers Ventures, is joining Udemy’s Board of Directors.

Founded in 2010, Udemy is a marketplace for online courses that brings together people with expertise in one or more areas, and people who want to learn about a new topic or develop a new skill. Udemy provides tools and a market for the experts to make and sell their courses, and takes a cut of their sales.

Link to Article: http://fortune.com/2016/06/02/naspers-invested-60-million-udemy/

 

13th annual report of the state of online learning in U.S. Higher education

online learning

The 2015 Survey of Online Learning conducted by the Babson Survey Research Group and co-sponsored by the Online Learning Consortium (OLC), Pearson, StudyPortals, WCET and Tyton Partners, is the leading barometer of online learning in the United States.

 

Key report findings include:

  • A year‐to‐year 3.9% increase in the number of distance education students, up from the  3.7% rate recorded last year.
  • More than one in four students (28%) now take at least one distance education course (a  total of 5,828,826 students, a year‐to‐year increase of 217,275).
  • The total of 5.8 million fall 2014 distance education students is composed of 2.85 million  taking all of their courses at a distance and 2.97 million taking some, but not all, distance  courses.
  • Public institutions command the largest portion of distance education students, with 72.7%  of all undergraduate and 38.7% of all graduate‐level distance students.
  • The proportion of chief academic leaders that say online learning is critical to their long‐ term strategy fell from 70.8% last year to 63.3% this year.
  • The percent of academic leaders rating the learning outcomes in online education as the  same or superior to those in face‐to‐face instruction is now at 71.4%.
  • Only 29.1% of academic leaders report that their faculty accept the “value and legitimacy  of online education.” Among schools with the largest distance enrollments, 60.1% report  faculty acceptance while only 11.6% of the schools with no distance enrollments do so.

Link to Survey: http://onlinelearningconsortium.org/read/online-report-card-tracking-online-education-united-states-2015/ 

Compliance Alert: Expand, Gigats, Softrock & ALL vendors using their data!

compliance-alert

PLAINTIFF 4. The FTC is an independent agency of the United States Government created by statute. 15 U.S.C. §§ 41-58. The FTC enforces Section 5(a) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. § 45(a), which prohibits unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce. 5. The FTC is authorized to initiate federal district court proceedings, by its own attorneys, to enjoin violations of the FTC Act and to secure such equitable relief as may be appropriate in each case, including rescission or reformation of contracts, restitution, and the disgorgement ofill-gotten monies. 15 U.S.C. §§ 53(b) and 56(a)(2)(A).

 

DEFENDANTS 6. Defendant Expand, Inc. (“Expand”), also doing business as Gigats, also doing business as Education Match, also doing business as SoftRock, Inc., is an Illinois corporation with its principal place of business in Orlando, FL. Expand transacts or has transacted business in this district and throughout the United States. 7. Defendant Ayman A. Difrawi, also known as Alec Difrawi, also known as Ayman El-Difrawi, is the founder, self-described ·’quarterback,” chief executive officer, and a director of Expand. At all times material to this Complaint, acting alone or in concert with others, he has formulated, directed, controlled, had the authority to control, or participated in the acts and practices of Expand, including the acts and practices set forth in this Complaint. Defendant Difrawi resides in this district and, in connection with the matters alleged herein, transacts or has transacted business in this district and throughout the United States.

 

Link to case: https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/cases/160428gigatscmpt.pdf 

 

Should you need help with Compliant Inquiry Generation or enrollment marketing you should speak to these guys: http://www.edufficient.com/

Are Community Colleges good stepping stones? Not for most!

community college shirt

If you could pick up a college degree for about half the sticker price, you would, right?

If so, you’ve got company. More than 80 percent of community college students say when they start there they expect to continue on and eventually earn a bachelor’s degree from a four-year college or university.

Yet most students fail in that goal, according to a recently published study by the Center for Community College Research at Columbia University’s Teachers College. One-third of the roughly 720,000 students who enrolled in community colleges in 2007 for the first time and were seeking degrees actually transferred to a four-year school, and only 42 percent earned a bachelor’s degree within six years — far below the 60 percent completion rate for students who started at four-year colleges and universities.

Among first-time, degree-seeking community college students overall, only 14 percent managed to earn a bachelor’s degree within six years, the study found.

“Too many students are failed by the current system of transfer between community colleges and universities,” said Davis Jenkins, senior research associate at the center, when announcing the release of the study.

Link to Article cnbc

Federal judge rules Consumer Financial Protection Bureau lacks the authority to investigate for-profit-college accreditors.

ACICS Logo

A federal judge on Thursday struck a blow to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s recent foray into college accreditation, ruling that the bureau lacks the authority to investigate how accreditors approve for-profit colleges.

U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon rejected the CFPB’sattempt to force an embattled national accreditor, the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, to turn over information about how it decided to approve several controversial for-profit college chains.

“Although it is understandable that new agencies like the CFPB will struggle to establish the exact parameters of their authority, they must be especially prudent before choosing to plow headlong into fields not clearly ceded to them by Congress,” wrote Leon, who was nominated by President George W. Bush. “Thus, having concluded that the CFPB lacks authority to investigate the process for accrediting for-profit schools, I am compelled to deny its petition to enforce civil investigative demand.”

Link to article

Federal Court Upholds Gainful-Employment Rule, a loss for the For-Profit Group

APSCU_logo

The Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities has lost another challenge to the U.S. Department of Education’s gainful-employment rule. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled on Tuesday that the department’s rule, which seeks to judge career-oriented programs based on graduates’ ability to repay their loans, could stand after the association appealed a prior ruling.

Read the decision.

The association, the leading lobbying group of for-profit colleges, had argued that the department had overstepped its authority in issuing the rule, and that the rule represented an unreasonable interpretation of the federal student-loan program. In a decisive passage, the panel rejected that argument:

Had Congress been uninterested in whether the loan-funded training would result in a job that paid enough to satisfy loan debt, it would have created a federal grant system instead of a federal loan system focusing on preparation for gainful employment.

Link to article: http://chronicle.com/blogs/ticker/federal-court-upholds-gainful-employment-rule-dealing-for-profit-group-another-loss/109294

Link to decision: http://chronicle.com/blogs/ticker/files/2016/03/apscu.pdf 

 

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