Rise in Black Enrollment at For-Profit Colleges Comes With Major Debt

For-profit schools means useless degrees and double the debt.

Posted: 06/10/2013 12:07 PM EDT

In most recent years, the amount of African-Americans enrolling in higher education has skyrocketed with the recession creating obstacles in the job market.

There has been a 108.5 percent jump in African-American male enrollment, according to recent data analyzed by Ivory A. Toldson, Ph.D., of Howard University. Enrollment for African-American women is 24 percent higher than African-American men, according to research by the UNCF College Fund.

But many African-Americans are being targeted by for-profit schools such as University of Phoenix and Ashford University, which promise a piece of the American dream, but are only giving students useless degrees and more than double the pile of debt to deal with after.

Between 2004 and 2010, Black enrollment in for-profit bachelor’s programs grew by 264 percent, according to Salon. For-profit schools cost more than local community colleges and many public universities. 

Salon reports

For too many, school has greased the downward slide. Nearly every single graduate of a for-profit school — 96 percent, according to a 2008 Department of Education survey — leaves with debt. The industry ate 25 percent of federal student aid in the 2009–2010 school year. That’s debt its students can’t pay. The loan default rate among for-profit college students is more than double that of their peers in both public and nonprofit private schools, because the degrees and certificates the students are earning are trap doors to more poverty, not springboards to prosperity.

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(Photo: Jason Reed/Reuters)

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