Your college plays a very crucial role by imparting you the right education & guidance to shape your career in a specific direction. So, with so many college-options to choose from, it is a difficult job to figure out which college will be an ideal fit for you.
Most of the universities in the USA are non-profit institutions dedicated to standards of education. But, there are other options available as well, like the “For Profit college”. Although they often get a bad reputation, for-profit colleges aren’t intrinsically bad, and some students may find it a right fit for them. In this article, we will try to throw some light on the definition of for-profit colleges and try to understand why they have a bad reputation in the world of education.
What is a For Profit College?
For-profit colleges are higher education institutions owned and run by private, profit-seeking corporations. A group of shareholders, or investors, are involved in all the decision-making processes of the college. They generally have a profit-seeking mindset. Essentially, for-profit colleges prioritize shareholders rather than students, in their attempts to make more money. Therefore, many for-profit colleges have programs that are highly “career-oriented” or “tech-oriented” because these study areas are in higher demand and typically result in better college revenues. Moreover, these For-profit colleges also try to cater to the needs of a specific student section by offering online and evening classes.
It is a widely accepted notion that these for-profit colleges will turn you up debt-laden and provide you a degree that places you far-behind in your career goals. However, this is not true in every ca?se. Some of the for-profit colleges offer a flexible degree program that equips you with the required marketable skills and supports your transition process towards a promising career.
What is the difference between for-profit and non-profit colleges?
Non-profit colleges are public or private owned institutions having an overall aim of providing a high-quality education to the students, without a profit-seeking intention. There are no shareholders or investors in non-profit colleges; instead, these colleges are managed by a board of directors or trustees. Public non-profit colleges are funded by the state governments, whereas private nonprofit colleges are privately financed through endowments, donations, etc. So, the fundamental difference between a non-profit and a for-profit college is that the former prioritizes the students first while the latter focuses more on the money-making process.
The risks associated with a For profit college
Before considering a for-profit college as an option, it is essential to understand the potential risks associated with it. As discussed earlier that these colleges are often subjected to criticism, so it’s important to know why. As a prior understanding may help you to choose a degree program that serves your interests.
While a non-profit college supports its students even if it has to suffer some losses in that academic year, a for-profit college will not hesitate to cut programs that aren’t making them money. Referring to data released by the National Center for Education Statistics, annual tuition fees of for-profit colleges is approximately $8,000 more than the tuition fees of a public non-profit college. So, if you are looking for an affordable option, a for-profit school may not be the right choice.
The way that people view your college from where you’ve obtained a degree or certification generally impacts your earning potential, job candidacy, and career advancement. So, as earlier discussed, due to its bad reputation, it is sometimes difficult for you to get a better opportunity in your career. However, it should be noted that the broader public status of a for-profit college doesn’t necessarily dictate its value to you and your professional goals. So, to make a better decision, you should always try to talk to an expert regarding a specific college considering your field of interest.
Some of the courses at a for-profit college usually takes longer than four years to complete. This makes a degree from a for-profit college both costlier and more time-consuming than a degree from a non-profit college.
Benefits of a For-profit college
Though for-profit colleges are generally avoided, there are various reasons for you to consider attending it like:
As a student, attending a for-profit institution may sometimes offer greater flexibility to you. Because many such colleges offer rolling admissions so that at any time, you can start working towards your certificate or degree. Moreover, many such colleges offer online courses that can be accessed from the comfort of your office, home, or anywhere across the globe.
If you don’t care too much about having a well-rounded education and would rather want to leap straight into advanced training, for-profit college is a perfect blend for you. You can get started on a particular career, even while working.
For-profit colleges generally have a high acceptance rate as compared to their non- profit counterparts. Many of these colleges also have an open admission policy having relaxed criteria for admissions. So, for students who are struggling to get admissions in a non-profit college, maybe due to low academic grades or poor test score, have an excellent option to attend a for-profit college and work towards a successful career objective.
So, if you take a well-researched decision to attend a particular course in a for-profit college or university, it can prove to be a smart step in your pursuit of a degree or a career shift.