The good news? The heyday of for-profit education may already be behind us. In October, the University of Phoenix announced it was shuttering 115 locations, after a drop in enrollment of roughly 25 percent since 2010. Still, nearly three million students still attend for-profit schools (including more than 300,000 at the U. of Phoenix alone), most of them supported largely by you and me.
To be clear, not all online schools are bad, and not all for-profit educational institutions are sleazy. I firmly believe that online education is the future. Things like iTunes U, Kahn Academy, and K12.com have been an enormous boon to tens of thousands of students, as well as to me and my kids personally.
There’s even a place for ethical for-profit institutions in that mix. But only if we clean up the sleaze first. And at the moment that appears to be in bountiful supply.
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