American RadioWorks: The Rise of Phoenix

For-Profit Universities Shake Up the Academy

Saturday 6am on 93.9FM and 2pm on AM820. Sunday at 8pm on AM820.

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Saturday, September 22, 2012

For-profit colleges have deep roots in American history, but until recently they were a tiny part of the higher education landscape. Now they are big players. More than one in 10 college students attends a for-profit. The rapid rise of these career-oriented schools has provoked heated debate, opening up new conversations about the costs, quality and purpose of higher education. In this documentary, correspondent Emily Hanford examines the history and influence of the University of Phoenix, one of the nation's largest colleges, and explores how Phoenix and other for-profits are shaping the future of higher education.

Comments [1]


Everything about this is exasperating! Who were these people of privilege John Sperling so resented when he went to Reed...back in the '40s/'50s? I don't know Reed or its class composition then or now, but I do know people who went to state colleges then and many, nay, most had to pay their way by working. Back then it was possible to work - basic manual labor - and pay for your own college and that is what many people did. I worry about these bogus "class-warfare" comments, asserted by people on the right, claiming to have once been leftists and asserting that there was some privileged America that they were excluded or alienated from...when they were white! Pretending that academically able students are somehow "privileged" is an insult to every hard-working student who through study and determination did well in school. For-profit colleges like the University of Phoenix trick unsophisticated students, often students of color, into believing that they will get a better education there than in a state school, or they admit students who lack the academic credentials (grades, high school diploma, SAT scores) that would have got them admitted to actual colleges and universities. Then, they play on these unwitting students' sense of injustice and create a "them and us" mentality that is very destructive. To add insult to injury, these for-profit colleges help incoming students finance an over-priced, under-developed education by taking out loans that American taxpayers are left holding the bag for. Now, the investors who are profiting off of this Ponzi scheme don't care that the rest of America will be left holding the bag. Finally, a business owner I know hired an accountant from U. of Phoenix and had to fire him because he basically didn't know his stuff. Why would anyone learn accounting from a school like that?

Sep. 22 2012 02:29 PM

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