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June 23, 2011 10:00 AM Regulation Works!

By Daniel Luzer

For-profit colleges say federal scrutiny might make for-profit colleges more effective. According to an article by Gregory Karp in the Chicago Tribune:

As controversy and scrutiny has swarmed nationwide about for-profit careers schools, those with a significant presence in Chicagoland say they are weathering the storm, and they might just end up better off for having endured.
“This period of regulatory change and uncertainty is an opportunity to enhance our programs, processes and systems,” [Career Education, Inc. spokesman Mark] Spencer, spokesman for, Spencer said. “In the end, our schools will emerge even better prepared to meet the needs of our diverse student populations.”

What he appears to mean by “emerge even better prepared to meet” is that his for-profit education company, which employs about 4,000 people in the Chicago area, will not go out of business. Well yes, it also potentially means that the colleges will no longer be able to saddle students with debt they can’t afford. That was the point of the regulation, to make the for-profit schools do a better jobs.

So why were they all talking about how the regulations would “deny educational opportunities” to America’s “poor and minority students” again?

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer