For-Profit Colleges: Growth, Outcomes, Regulation

October 2013

For-profit colleges are the fastest growing postsecondary schools in the nation. In 2010–11, for-profit colleges enrolled 2.4 million students—more than three times as many as they enrolled in 2000–01. These colleges, many of them big national chains, primarily offer certificates and associate degrees in career-oriented programs, but they are also expanding their presence in the bachelor’s degree market.

Based primarily on a report by CAPSEE researchers, this brief examines the growth of for-profit colleges, the outcomes of students who attend for-profits, and the current federal policies that govern these institutions.

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