Some for-profit schools engage in predatory recruitment practices that mislead and/or coerce prospective students into enrolling in high-tuition programs that cost on average much more than public schools or private, non-profit schools. These for-profit schools frequently target vulnerable populations of prospective students who are typically from lower income families and/or eligible for federal aid programs, such as Pell Grants and GI Bill benefits, as a way to maximize revenue for the school via a federal funding stream. Students who attend for-profit schools have significantly higher incompletion rates and nearly half of these students end up defaulting on their loans.
Attorney General Martha Coakley has launched a campaign to educate prospective students (and the teachers who advise them) about this issue. The AG’s web site has information descriptions of the deceptive practices and questions to ask before enrolling in a for-profit school, as well as a list of resources for post-secondary school planning. Teachers are encouraged to share this information with their students. Multilingual posters are also available.