After reading the provided articles, one statistic I found startling was the amount by which enrollment in private, for-profit colleges has increased. According to “The Economics of Higher Education” report, “Approximately 9 percent [of college students] attend a private for-profit (i.e., “proprietary”) institution.” The article also states that enrollment in these schools is growing very rapidly compared to other colleges, jumping “from 200,000 students in the late 1980s to nearly 2 million students today.” What I am struggling to understand is why are students flocking towards these schools instead of community colleges or public tech schools? This is especially puzzling, considering that Susan Dynarski in her NYT article states that private, for-profit schools “almost always charge much higher tuition, and their students take on larger loans.”
I wanted to take a closer look at Dynarski’s claim for myself, though it did agree with “The Economics of Higher Education” report. So, I made a case study. For my case study, I compared Florida automotive tech programs at a public tech college to that of private, for-profit tech college.
The Florida Panhandle Technical College (public tech college) in Chipley, FL offers an automotive mechanic program for in-instate residents for about $3,000 Tuition total. This is reported clearly on a single webpage. A similar program is offered at the Universal Technical Institute (private, for-profit college) in Orlando, FL. The cost of this program for in-state residents as best as I can tell is about $27,000 Tuition total. I say this is “as best as I can tell” because the website led me through a set of very intrusive questions, showed me potential salaries, and showed me monthly loan payments options for tuition costs before it even brought up a report for tuition. It took me about 15 minutes to go through it.
James Rosenbaum, a sociologist at Northwestern University, gave his opinion of why students are opting for more expensive private, for-profit colleges. The two main reasons for this trend, according to his studies, are that private, for-profit colleges tend to have superior advertising and better counseling departments than comparable community colleges. While those reasons are convincing, they are not related much to the economics topics we have studied. So, I pose this question to the class (which expounds upon my question in the first paragraph), what ECONOMICS reasons can you reasonably hypothesize could cause the demand for private, for-profit colleges to increase so much even though they cost much more than their peer public institutions?
1.you need to answer the question (at least 200 charaters): what ECONOMICS reasons can you reasonably hypothesize could cause the demand for private, for-profit colleges to increase so much even though they cost much more than their peer public institutions?
2.after reading the articles, write a 200 characters answer.