APSCU Press: APSCU Responds To Release of Report by Senator Harkin

APSCU Responds To Release of Report by Senator Harkin


Washington, D.C. – Former Congressman Steve Gunderson, the president and chief executive officer of the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities (APSCU) today issued the following statement in response to yet another attack against career colleges and universities by Iowa Senator Tom Harkin:

“Unfortunately, Senator Harkin’s report continues in the tradition of ideology overriding reality.  The report twists the facts to fit a narrative, proving that this is nothing more than continued political attacks on private sector colleges and universities.  For example, the student loan default statistic mentioned in the report continues to be presented in a misleading fashion that compares students to dollars, not dollars to dollars.  Instead of joining the conversation about ways to expand access to postsecondary education, Senator Harkin is attacking schools that are currently providing instruction to 3.8 million students.  Today’s students already face enough challenges accessing postsecondary education without these sorts of distractions.  Instead, let’s work together to develop partnerships and agree that all higher education institutions need to be held to the same high standards in the best interests of our students and future workforce.”

“We urge Senator Harkin to get on board for the simple reason that more students - particularly working adults, parents and veterans - are independently selecting to attend our schools because of flexible course scheduling, career-specific instruction and a pathway to employment in high-demand occupations.

 “We are supplying a marketplace that has a growing need for skilled and trained workers in order to achieve 21st Century global competitiveness.  Senator Harkin and his staff make it clear in the executive summary of this report that this goal cannot be met without private sector colleges and universities.  I agree, which is why we have reached out to the Obama Administration, including the Departments of Education and Veterans’ Affairs, to discuss ways we can work together to better serve students.  APSCU will continue to look for allies to join us as we work to address ways to increase student access to education and skills, increase student success and ultimately meet the demand for an educated workforce for the 21st Century”.

*Please see links below with backgrounder document for specific references to report claims.

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