In this article we look at the real cost of ‘for-profit’ colleges in America and why the best place to study might be the UK.
Over the past decade, the United States has seen a surge of ‘for-profit’ colleges, springing up across the landscape, and the enrolment figures have grown too. Now, these colleges account for around 12 per cent of all students in higher education within the US. Some are viewing this expansion as a success, encouraging more people to enter into the higher education system, however some critics are more cynical. They point to the complaints posted on social networking sites, dissatisfied feedback posted on articles across the web and the ever growing debt that these students are leaving with. Almost half of all ‘for-profit’ college students default on their debt, suggesting an imbalance between the cost of the course and the potential earnings generated by them.
There has been suggestions that this is partly due to the extensive range of courses now offered at these institutions. Highly specific degrees may look like a fast-track to the job of your dream but many industry professionals see them as ‘worthless’. The ‘for-profit’ institutions refute this, stating that the ‘non-traditional’ students they typically recruit are often less able to pay back the debt because of their background.
So why might studying in the UK be better than the US?
Although plans are in place to re-evaluate the higher education system, currently the UK only has a few private providers with degree awarding capabilities: the College of Law, the University of Buckingham, IFS School of Finance, Ashridge Business School and BPP University College. All of these institutions shouldn’t necessarily be held in the same light as their American counterparts. In fact, some of these are amongst the best in the country for what they offer and they are conscious of the challenge ahead; the last thing they want is to devalue the UK based degree. They feel that the tight control the government is currently imposing on the higher education system helps to maintain a strong level of excellent graduates and because of this, they feel that to study in the UK is the best option available.
For more information, you can read our guide to Studying in the UK
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