Horne not interested in investigating Arizona’s for-profit college scam

by David Safier

Tom Horne is doing whatever he can to prevent the voter approved medical marijuana initiative from happening. But he refuses to join with other states to investigate for-profit colleges, which lie to students and saddle them with huge loans while making their millions from the government.

I've posted about this scam before. For-profit colleges, like Arizona's own 400,00-student University of Phoenix (the students are all over the country), do whatever it takes to maximize enrollment, including making promises of jobs that aren't there, often to students who have little chance of gaining the necessary skills even if there were jobs. Students are saddled with huge loans, sometimes for education they don't complete, sometimes for degrees and certificates which are essentially worthless to them. And 90% of the revenue coming into the colleges is from federal student grants and loans — $24 billion in 2008-9 — meaning the taxpayer is footing the bill for these higher education mills to make huge profits at their students' expense.

About a dozen states are investigating the for-profit colleges, but Arizona isn't one of them. There could be a huge settlement similar to what the tobacco companies have to pay. Tom Horne has adopted a I-don't-know-nuthin' stance.

Attorney General Tom Horne said that he was not aware of any complaints about education companies. In Arizona, the Attorney General's Office typically routes complaints about for-profit schools to a state board that handles that issue.

"We have not been present at any discussions of the (attorneys-general) working group," Horne said. "We have plenty of things that we are focusing on. That has not been one of them."

It's funny how Horne will go out of his way to stick his nose into issues, like medical marijuana, that don't require his interference, but he thinks for-profit colleges are none of his business. Mulit-million dollar ripoffs of young adults in his state just aren't that important to Horne. The fact that "Horne received a total of $1,690 from Apollo Group [which runs University of Phoenix] executives and its political-action committee during his 2010 campaign for attorney general" may have something to do with his cavalier attitude.

The Obama Education Department tightened up its rules on for-profits recently, but not nearly enough. The stock of the for-profits went up on the news of the regulations. They expected worse.

1 thought on “Horne not interested in investigating Arizona’s for-profit college scam”

  1. All colleges (for-profit or not) everywhere are offering a rather poor deal on education in my opinion. Some for-profit colleges may (or may not) be offering an especially bad deal but if adults can’t be expected to engage in a prudent investigation of their future prospects then perhaps the day has arrived where the government should stop funding such activity (e.g. let college students and their parents pay for their own education).

    Government subsidies result in perverse incentives and unintended consequences. If you want to end perverse incentives you have to end the government subsidies not just demagogue the colleges that are businesses.

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