For profit universities have been a target of state and federal investigations for years. I have written about this topic since 2012. It should be noted that not all for profit colleges are scams, but there are a large number of for profit colleges, sometimes referred to as “diploma mills” that at times offer credit for your “life experience” and lure students in with promises of a helpful degree, but the students end up with a worthless degree and an empty wallet. Sometimes the names of these scamming colleges and universities are confusingly similar to legitimate colleges. For instance, Columbia State University is a diploma mill while Columbia University is an eminent Ivy League school.
Now the Federal Trade Commission is suing for profit DeVry University alleging that the university’s advertising, particularly as it relates to their graduates’ opportunities for getting a job after graduation are false and deceptive. Similarly the U.S. Department of Education is also taking legal action against Devry based on its advertising and marketing practices.
Check out any school your are considering attending that is a for profit university with the United States Department of Education’s website at www.ope.ed.gov/accreditation to make sure it is an accredited institution.
You also should investigate whether a local college, university or community college would be more cost effective for you. For profit colleges and universities are often more expensive than these other alternatives without offering any distinct advantages. Also, check out the graduation rates of any for profit college you are considering and finally, investigate the job prospects in your field of study. Don’t just take the word of the college.