Proposed changes to financial aid regulations in the U.S. (Title IV) have put for-profit education institutions under fire. The argument goes that there has been a misuse of public funding to benefit the institutions in favor of the students that they are supposed to serve.
If this is the case than it should stop immediately. The government should verify that money spent by for-profit education bodies is for the betterment of students, backed up by measurable results.
However, we should not ‘throw the baby out with the bathwater’. For-profit online universities have enabled millions of adults to go back to school. Indeed, there is a strong need to dramatically increase higher education places for students. Traditional universities have never met the growing need for more seats in class, nor for the flexibility needed by students juggling work, family and education concurrently.
For-profit on-line colleges enable greater numbers of people to pursue higher education and deserve credit for their pioneering work in developing eLearning solutions. Indeed, they created a way of learning that fits our contemporary world and, without that foundation, we could never have created a place like University of the People (UoPeople). We, at UoPeople, a not- for profit on-line university, humbly admit that we have much to learn from the for-profit education world.
What do you think about the role of on-line universities?