Higher Education for All: Why Student Choose Private Sector Institutions

23 Dec 2014 /By APSCU Communications 
Individuals considering higher education take a number of factors into account when deciding what type of institution is best for them. While each student has a different set of determining factors that influence their decision, many of the students that enroll in private sector institutions are new traditional students. These students are likely to rely on federal financial aid, be older than the average student, work while attending class, and support a family. Thus, our nation’s higher education institutions must be equipped to meet the needs of these new traditional students, and private sector institutions are best suited to do so.
As has been well documented by a number of experts, including members of the New York Federal Reserve, higher education remains an excellent investment for individuals. However, many students, specifically new traditional students, have needs that require the flexible learning opportunities that private sector programs offer. Simply put, many individuals want to further their education because of the value of a degree, but not all can attend the traditional routes offered by public and private not-for-profit institutions.
One of the many ways that private sector institutions offer more flexibility is through distance education. According to data provided by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics, “in 2012, a higher percentage of students at private for-profit institutions (46 percent) exclusively took distance education courses than did students at public institutions (8 percent) and private nonprofit institutions (10 percent).” The emphasis that private sector institutions place on delivering instruction to students who are not physically present in a classroom is certainly not traditional, but it offers a degree of flexibility that is often helpful, if not essential, for many new traditional students.
Unfortunately, the U.S. Department of Education’s recently released gainful employment regulation will limit options within higher education for new traditional students by shutting down programs that don’t meet their arbitrary debt-to-earnings metric. Though some argue that students displaced by the closing of these programs will have other options available to meet their education needs, the data indicates otherwise. These alternatives will most likely not be practical or flexible enough to meet the needs of new traditional students. Thus, the gainful employment regulation will deny access to education for millions of students in the coming years.

Direct link to article: http://www.highereducationforall.com/students-choose-private-sector-institutions/#.VJ1HcMABTA

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