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Michigan League for Public Policy report finds for-profit colleges cost more, result in lower income

j.o.h.n. walker

A new report from the Michigan League for Public Policy found that private, for-profit colleges in the state are more expensive but fail to provide good student outcomes.

The report, from the nonpartisan League for Public Policy, found that three-quarters of graduates from private for-profit colleges made less than $24-thousand annually.

Peter Ruark with the League said they looked at 44 private for-profit colleges in Michigan. Ten years after starting at those colleges, students made comparatively little.

“Only five of the for-profit colleges had a median salary of $30-thousand per year or more,” Ruark said.

For comparison, ten years after enrolling at Central Michigan University the median salary of students is about $44-thousand.

Ruark said nationally students at for-prof

it colleges graduate with an average of $39,000 in debt - 41% higher than other four-year colleges.

“In Michigan, 30% of students at for-profit colleges defaulted on their federal student loans compared with just 4% of students at public colleges,” he said. “30% versus 4%. That’s huge.”

Ruark said for-profit colleges are disproportionately made up of pell-grant receiving students.

He said the state already prohibits state financial aid from being used at for-profit colleges - which he said is a good thing.

“What we’d like to see is the state encourage or require  high school counseling offices to provide materials or advising services on how to weigh costs and benefits when choosing a college,” he said.