Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Get Woke, Go Broke…Leftist School Loses Most Of Its Students

By Professor Doom

     When a school, or any organization, gets taken over by Leftist lunacy, it is called “convergence,” where all thought now is focused into their belief system. Their own word for this is “woke,” in other words they are now awake to the “fact” that everything is RACIST, that gender politics  is everything, that, quite literally, no further action can be taken by the organization except political acts in support of the ideology.

      “Get woke, go broke,” has been the catchphrase to describe how this works out in the commercial world. Comics have been converged for some time, and major companies like DC and Marvel have seen their sales plummet. Similarly, watching the latest converged Star Wars movies gives plenty of insight into why the value of that intellectual property has dropped off so sharply.  Or perhaps I could mention how things are working out for the NFL?

     Getting back to higher ed, we’ve seen the same effect, as converged schools consistently experience a sharp drop-off in enrollments. It’s a curious thing, as time and again the followers of this ideology scream at us how what they want is obviously a great thing…but human beings consistently say they aren’t interested in the ideology, not in comics, not in movies, not in sports…and not in education.

      Evergreen College is particularly “woke,” to the point that they have regular anti-white hate indoctrination/seminars. There was an estimate a few months ago about how many new students were interested in this converged school, but the semester’s started, so let’s see how the estimate matches reality:

     “300 new enrollments” is a statistic in a vacuum. The old estimate was a 20 percent drop in enrollment. How does that compare to reality?

"This fall, we expect less than 300 freshmen to attend Evergreen, a fifty percent drop from two years ago," one Evergreen professor admitted on the site, Heterodox Academy. "

     Much like with government numbers rarely coming close to reality, Evergreen’s administration were clearly faking a reality which should have been quite easy to predict before the semester started.

     They lost half their students!

      I feel the need to highlight the madness here: this school has over 550 administrators; I openly defy the reader to identify any legitimate business which has more managers than new customers per year, particularly a business where very few customers continue to be so longer than a handful of years. Total attendance at this whole school will be around 2800 this year. I concede Evergreen might be a little top-heavy, but I assure the gentle reader many schools have far, far, too many admin in relation to the student base. Every attempt to address this problem so far has involved removing faculty and cutting faculty pay, and some schools are now considering cutting faculty pay to zero in an attempt to free up ever more money for administrative “leadership.”

     The fact that this leadership is, much like at Evergreen, primarily responsible for the immense decay of our higher education system has so far done nothing to impede their growth…even as these leaders impede the growth of the student base.

Editors note: A representative for The Evergreen State college has reached out with an update on anticipated enrollments. They expect around 350 freshmen to attend in the fall. Also, they expect 3000- 3100 total full-time enrolled students in 2018 (out of the 4,200 they are funded for). While both of these numbers do represent significant decreases as compared to before the 2017 unrest, they are marginally less bleak than Dr. Paros’ estimates, which were based on earlier information. These are still just estimates, however. The official enrollments for Fall 2018 will not be determined until after the 10th day of enrollment.

     I politely note that I don’t have precise numbers and getting those numbers will likely be problematic but…there is no way to look at the “estimates” given above and not understand how the leadership there has failed.

      Any repercussions for them? If I lost half my class, admin would come down hard on me, making me take the blame for it even if it’s admin’s fault they lowered entrance standards to a ridiculous level. Admin failed here, so surely they’ll take the blame? 


 An “independent” External Review Panel exonerated the president and administrators while blaming Evergreen’s woes on Bret Weinstein and ‘alt-right’ agitators…

      Evergreen had a day on campus where white people were asked to not show up (under strongly implied penalty of physical harm). Bret Weinstein, very liberal and generally supportive of identity politics, dared to say “hey, forbidding white people to come to campus is racist.” Naturally, the leadership there simply removed him from campus rather than consider any challenge to their ideology.

      No, Bret Weinstein is not responsible for the failure of Evergreen, any more than alleged “alt-right” agitators.

      The “independent” was in quotes in my above quote because it’s well known all panels and committees are completely subject to the whims of admin…it’s why they never take responsibility for any of their mistakes. Any such responsibility would first need to be assigned by a committee…and admin controls those.

       Another short post as I try to recover from what I hope is the worst of over half a dozen (at least) surgeries over the last 33 years for what every doctor claims is the “most curable” cancer around but one last comment:

       I make the following predictions: the failure at Evergreen will simply be repeated at other campuses. Any primary admin who leave Evergreen (under whatever circumstances) will land another plum position in higher ed.


Saturday, October 27, 2018

Mainstream Rag Asks Why College Is Expensive…Has No Clue.

By Professor Doom

     There is a huge problem brewing in this country: student loan debt. Some 44,000,000 people have this kind of debt (minimum, there are many accounting tricks to make this number appear lower than it is), and for many it’s so large that they’ll never be able to pay it back. They can’t get rid of it through bankruptcy, either.

      This is a huge subset of the population, basically the whole next generation. This problem has been growing and growing, but most people are, at best, only dimly aware. Some porn star has sex with some politico, and it’s big news even though it affects less than half a dozen people, but this devastating problem for tens of millions of people just doesn’t make the mainstream media much.

       A recent article demonstrates just how dimly this country seems to be aware of the situation…and I’m in the mood to pick on the rag:

     Before chuckling at The Atlantic’s laughably insipid musings on the matter, I feel the need to highlight a basic economic principle: if you increase demand of a commodity, the price will rise. Now, yes, there’s always been a demand for education, but this country has an excellent library system. The government’s student loan system didn’t increase demand for education, but it did increase demand for an education at an accredited school.

      If you don’t care about accreditation, you can hire a tutor for $50 an hour to come and talk to you about fairly advanced subjects—a typical college professor doesn’t make this much, and a typical course charges about $150 an hour for the student to sit in a huge classroom and listen…honest, it’d be better for both student and teacher if we didn’t have the huge education bureaucracy in the way.

      Anyway, college is expensive because of this basic economic principle: the massive student loan programs are fueling a huge demand for accredited education. What does The Atlantic have to say?

“Spending per student is exorbitant, and it has virtually no relationship to the value that students could possibly get in exchange.”

      Yes; as I’ve documented extensively, accreditation is a fraud and has no relationship to education quality. So, about the question?

“…I wanted to blame the curdled indulgences of campus life: fancy dormitories, climbing walls, lazy rivers, dining halls with open-fire-pit grills. And most of all—college sports. Certainly sports deserved blame.”

      What confusion of ideas is necessary to view the above as anything but symptoms of spending out of control? If the above were the real problem, then a “cheap” school could skip the above.

It turns out that the vast majority of American college spending goes to routine educational operations—like paying staff and faculty—not to dining halls. These costs add up to about $23,000 per student a year—more than twice what Finland, Sweden, or Germany spends on core services.

     Yes. So, how about answering the question?

And college is a service delivered mostly by workers with college degrees—whose salaries have risen more dramatically than those of low-skilled service workers over the past several decades.

      Uh, nope. Faculty pay and faculty numbers have been essentially flat, actually lower when you consider most faculty are sub-minimum wage adjuncts who don’t even count into pay considerations. And it is faculty who deliver the services here. But even if we were paid a lot, it’s still not answering the question, because class sizes have swollen to huge proportions.

 “The villain, as much as there is one, is economic growth itself,” they write.

      Um…no. If economic growth were the issue, then everything else would increase in price by a huge margin as well. We’d see this in other countries with economic growth if this statement were true. We do not.

America’s higher-education system is that it is actually three different systems masquerading as one: There is one system of public colleges; another of private, nonprofit institutions; and one made up of for-profit colleges.

      Finally, the Atlantic says something correct…but interprets it wrong. All those systems would increase competition, and yet another economic principle is competition drives prices down. It’s a shame economics is such an obscure topic that our mainstream rags don’t even have a rudimentary understanding of it.

     The Atlantic submits page after page of complete confusion, for example:

All that said, it’s also true that state budget cuts were uneven across the country. Today, in-state tuition in Wyoming is about a third of the cost of Vermont, for example. In places where higher education has not been gutted and the cost of living is low, an American college degree can still be a bargain—especially for students who don’t mind living at home and are poor enough to qualify for federal aid. 

     Wait…Federal aid? You know, Federal aid in housing drove real estate prices up, and Federal involvement in health care drove prices up. The Atlantic doesn’t know these things, and so misses the cue here, with no ability to guess what Federal aid in education would do.

“Universities extract money from students because they can…It’s the inevitable outcome of an unregulated fee structure.”

      No, it’s not the unregulated fee structure. Bottled water doesn’t have a regulated fee structure, after all, and yet we still don’t see bottles of water going for $20,000 apiece. More government interference, more regulation, is not the answer.

Over a lifetime, people with bachelor’s degrees earn more than half a million dollars more than people with no college degree in the U.S.

      Hey, remember when the line was “over a million dollars”? I sure do. Now it’s only half a million? This still isn’t answering the question, though.

      After fumbling forever, the author never gets around to answering the question, but offers up this hysterical chestnut:

This convoluted, complicated, inconsistent system continues to exist, and continues to be so expensive because college in America is still worth the price. At certain colleges, for certain people. Especially if they finish. But it doesn’t have to be this way, and almost everywhere else, it isn’t.

      Still worth the price? I have my doubts. We now have close to three times as many people with student loan debt than we have college students, but the debts are quite inescapable for many of them. Continuing to screech about how college is worth it “at any price” is just suckering more people into the death spiral of college debt, and The Atlantic does the public a grave disservice by saying the above. They merely add insult to injury by at no point considering how the huge student loan scam has been a factor in skyrocketing tuition here.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

College Math Course: “Hillary Is Wonderful”

By Professor Doom

     I’ve mentioned before that political leanings are now part of the hiring process on some of our campuses: if you don’t follow the Social Justice ideology and all, everything, it entails, you can’t be hired. Yes, even in mathematics, you must be a social justice warrior to teach math, on some campuses.

     Now, not…everything…is wrong about SJW beliefs, but one part of it is very annoying. The SJW must insert politics into everything. This is why the Star Wars movies are now more about ideology than light sabers, why football is obsessed with the “kneeling” issue, why our homosexuality/transgenderism seems to be discussed everywhere even if, in reality, neither are factors for 95% of human sexual activity (and 99.999999% of human activity in general), among many other examples.

       So what happens when the social justice warrior tries to teach math? There are no politics in mathematics, so obviously the course must be discarded:

     Um…what? The gentle reader should understand why our college courses are so off the rails now, to the point that a math class addresses imperialism, of all things. Accreditation, which supposedly legitimizes the education at schools, does no such thing. The schools actually legitimize themselves, while paying fees to the accreditor—the latter never sets foot inside the classes to see with their own eyes what’s going on. So what, exactly, kind of math is this, anyway?

The course, “Finite Mathematics,” is designed for non-science majors and fulfills a general education requirement.

     “Finite Math” is one of many fake courses on our campuses. It’s basically “math for people who can’t pass math.” I’ve taught it a few times. Generally the course is “chapter 1” from four different courses—lightly covering a wide range of topics so if a student takes a month off during the semester or can’t remember anything he ever learns, it’s no big deal. Since it’s all very introductory material, there’s nothing here that can’t be picked up in a few weeks, and students don’t have to learn much at all.

       Even with such minimal requirements, much of it must be tossed to make way for ideology:

The professor begins with a positive review of Democratic presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton in section two of the midterm, entitled “Red Party Politics Shifts and Cracks,” before asking students to analyze voting statistics between male and female voters during the 2008 presidential election.
“The emergence of the Tea Party played a central role in the 2008 U.S. presidential election,” the document reads. “The victor was Barack Obama who, like Bill Clinton, served as U.S. president for 8 years - the two men guided always by the strength of character and force of intellect of First Lady Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton.”

       It’s really weird how the people heaping endless praise on Hillary also pour infinite odium on Trump. If Trump was so bad, what does that make Hillary, who objectively lost despite having a vastly more powerful political machine? I digress.

      Now, students complain about having ideology poured down their throats even in math class, and have plenty of documentation that something is awry. How does admin respond?

…the university seeks to “encourage any student who believes that an instructor has acted beyond the limits of academic freedom to consult the policies and procedures in place for seeking a faculty conference and mediation.”

    I must point out: the university hired this professor, and doubtless his SJW beliefs were key to that hiring decision. I doubt they’ll do anything, citing “academic freedom.” Much as there’s much hypocrisy regarding enforcement of these types of rules in social media, we see it here. After all, if you dare to even question about the 23 genders, or claim heterosexual marriage isn’t so bad, you’ll be punished with suspension or being hauled into the Diversity palace for re-education…both these things happen quickly.

     But turn a math course into an ideology course and…well, the university will look into it. Sometime. Perhaps. The professor has been doing this a while, you see:

A RateMyProfessor review of Professor Fabbri seems to suggest that he has a history of getting off topic in his math courses. “Hated his class,” one former student wrote. “He mumbled and went off on tangents to talk about things that were completely irrelevant.”

     I’ve tried so hard to explain what’s going on in higher education, but it’s clear I have much work to do as yet, as one unanswered comment illustrates:

Academic freedom does not mean that professors can do anything they want in the classroom. Universities generally insist that professors keep to the subject matter, and not deviate excessively into irrelevant areas.


     I’ve taught in higher ed nearly 30 years, and I’ve never had the university “insist” anything beyond mandating a certain pass rate. Direction for classroom material comes from the department, at least in legitimate schools.

      In such cases, I’ve had people tell me exactly what I need to cover in class, and I do. Legitimate schools are run by scholars, you see, and I generally agree with their recommendations. These scholars are hired based on their academic abilities, instead of ideology, and so the coursework actually qualifies as education.

     The university presenting this course, protecting a SJW as he warps the course into ideology instead of mathematics, is Penn State. Yes, they have a bit of an evil reputation regarding pedophilia in their athletics department, but I can see how someone might overlook this if they’re not involved with the athletics.

      But now that they’re on the record that even their math classes are more about ideological indoctrination than education, Penn State becomes one more school students should avoid if they’re seeking an education.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Student Loan Default Problem Worse Than Thought (No Kidding!)

By Professor Doom

     Student loan debt is around $1.5 trillion. Theoretically, the size of a loan isn’t nearly as important as the ability to pay back the loan. Alas, most of this loan debt was for fake education; when I first started this blog I covered in detail how fraudulent much of the education in higher education is, by publishing everything in my book on the subject (this basically the first two years of my blog posts). For the bulk of students with student loans, it is mathematically impossible to pay off their debts, because they were given bogus educations of no value.

      When students default, things get worse: the debts simply get larger. You can’t escape student debt through bankruptcy. So, if you default, the debt increases, and obviously you can’t pay the larger debt either…it’s a death spiral.

     I’ve maintained the true default rate is far higher than what is claimed (“around 2%”). The reason for the deception is the vast array of programs which cover up the defaults, as well as schools using accounting tricks. I’ve been saying this obvious fact for years, but a recent article concedes that, yeah, something is very wrong with student debt:

--sorry to cite something so disreputable, but backtracking the data shows it’s valid.

     Let’s just get right to a picture, and then I’ll put in an extra thousand words:


            Gosh, from 2.1% to 13.1%...and this is labeled “opinion.” This rise isn’t as sharp as it seems, since that 2.1% was a grotesque under-estimation; it was always higher than that. I maintain that 13.1% is likely a bad under-estimation, albeit not as bad as 2.1%

Of borrowers who started repaying in 2012, just over 10 percent had defaulted three years later. That’s not too bad — but it’s not the whole story. Federal data never before released shows that the default rate continued climbing to 16 percent over the next two years, after official tracking ended, meaning more than 841,000 borrowers were in default. Nearly as many were severely delinquent or not repaying their loans (for reasons besides going back to school or being in the military). The share of students facing serious struggles rose to 30 percent over all.

     So the default rate, terrible for kids right out of school, only gets more horrible as the years go by. Again, this isn’t shocking news: you start out strapped for cash when you leave school, but can maybe get help from friends/family to keep you going for a little while. Eventually you can’t keep asking for bailouts from everyone around you, or you lose your job for a month, or get sick, or have a child, or worse a sick child…and then the death spiral begins.

The new data makes clear that the federal government overlooks early warning signs by focusing solely on default rates over the first three years of repayment. 

     Yeah, no kidding. Like all official numbers, what we are getting from the government is just more lies. Someone else decided to show in detail that things are much worse than “we” thought.

The secret to avoiding accountability? Colleges are aggressively pushing borrowers to use repayment options known as deferments or forbearances that allow borrowers to stop their payments without going into delinquency or defaulting. Nearly 20 percent of borrowers at schools that had high default rates at year five but not at year three used one of these payment-pausing options.

     I’m shocked, shocked, to read of this. About the only people who would not be shocked are those who started reading my blog years ago.

The federal government cannot keep turning a blind eye while almost one-third of student loan borrowers struggle. 

      While “struggle” is not an objectively defined word, it’s very clear that around one-third of kids tricked into student loans are being devastated by them. This percentage is far higher than the percentage of smokers who get lung cancer.

      Is it not yet clear we have a problem, when higher education is doing more harm to humans than smoking?

The data also show the number of institutions with “high” default rates for that 2012 cohort -- 30 percent or higher -- jumped from 93 colleges from year three to 636 in year five of repayment.

     So…a 500% increase in high default rate schools over a few years. Seriously, just how big does the waving red flag have to be before seeing there’s a problem here?

     A comment on Inside Higher Ed bears response by me (since nobody else did):

"Two years later, after the Department of Education stopped tracking results, 636 schools had high default rates." Who are their accreditors, I wonder?

     Accreditation, as I discussed in detail in my book (and on my blog), does not care about student loans, and further analysis on my part reveals how they are in on the massive fraud being enacted on our next generation.

      So a question about the accreditors should, by the knowledgeable, be met with mirth, but even on a specialized site like inside Higher Ed, none of the academics there know just what a huge fraud accreditation is, to the point that asking about them generates no informed responses.

     In any event, the reality is our student loan defaults are sharply rising, and I promise the gentle reader, they will rise further. I don’t ask you to believe me, of course, but if I happen to be around in a few years, I’ll be happy to show the confirmation.

      Even if, as I often beg, we stop the student loan scam immediately and in its entirety, the default rates will still rise for a decade or more, because these debts never clear. The government will do nothing for them as yet, but I hope that someday the warning signs will be large enough for our bloated government/country to recognize. I still, of course, advocate for the end of the student loan scam. Isn’t destroying one generation enough?

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Study: $400k A Year Diversity Officers Do Nothing For Diversity

By Professor Doom

      It seems every school is loading up on Diversity Officers, filling up Diversity Palaces as they preach Diversity. It’s obnoxious, of course, all the more so because of the ridiculous, truly ridiculous, amounts of money poured into these Diversity Officers:

Campus diversity czars frequently draw massive salaries. The University of Michigan's chief diversity officer, for example, rakes in $396,000 a year.

     That’s a state school, folks, and you need to understand this guy is supported by a massive staff of vice-presidents and whatnot, each making sums of money that I can never hope to make as faculty In higher ed. No, I’m not asking for more money, but I must point that I actually teach students, actually write and publish1…I advance the university’s mission of education and research at least a tiny, tiny, increment.

     I’ve often commented that, empirically, the main job of these Diversity Officers is to increase racial strife. I’ve cited campus after campus after campus where we see Diversity Officers actively causing trouble. It’s their job, you see, for they use the trouble to demonstrate their job is necessary.

      I know, this is just a blog, and even a large family of anecdotes still doesn’t qualify as a real study in any legitimate science. Is anyone studying to see if there’s an actual benefit to having these wildly overpaid hustlers on campus?

     Turns out, yes:

     The above study is from the National Bureau of Economic Research. They defined “benefit” in a way a normal person would consider questionable: the Diversity Officers are supposed to be increasing “Diverse” faculty hiring, that is to say the hiring of anyone but white males. That’s a questionable benefit if ever there was one, but let’s go with the flow here.

      Again, I’ve highlighted several overt cases where the hiring was obviously racist. I use the adjective “overt” because many campuses have had unwritten racist and sexist hiring policies for a very long time, but now we even see explicit political leaning policies in hiring as well, even in mathematics.

     So, before moving on to the results of the study, I really want to point it out clearly: Diversity Officers are fundamentally racist job positions, every bit of an abomination to higher ed as mandating every campus must have an anointed Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan.

      And the guy at the top of each diversity fiefdom is paid around $400,000 a year with our tax dollars.

     So what were the results of the study?

"We are unable to find significant statistical evidence that preexisting growth in diversity for underrepresented racial/ethnic minority groups is affected by the hiring of an executive level diversity officer," write the study's authors

     Now, “science” has a real problem right now in that many of our research studies cannot be replicated. Perhaps I’ll go into great detail on why this happened, but for now, the basic idea is it’s very simple to manipulate data statistically to get whatever result you want, because there aren’t official rules as to what manipulation is allowed. When you get a benefit for a study with a result, and a penalty for a study with no result, and get to decide if you want a result or not…you better believe “scientists” will get studies with results.

      The above study, however, is a “no result” study, they’re saying they could find no evidence of any of the supposed benefit to having Diversity Officers on campus (I should point out that these huge boondoggles are a big feature of public schools, but far less so of private schools—especially for-profits, who, while scammy, aren’t about to waste their money on these useless demagogues).

     Diversity fiefdoms employ dozens of race-baiters, with multi-million dollar budgets…the kind of budgets that could fully pay the tuition of hundreds of students a year, every year.

     It’s not just a waste of money and squandered opportunity to save kids from a lifetime of student loan debt, of course, since often Diversity Officers promote race riots and other events which are very detrimental to the school (Hi Mizzou, though you’re certainly not alone!).

      Now, some might think this study is politically biased, and that these researchers simply had an axe to grind. I think not. Consider this quote:

“Although important progress has been made in increasing faculty and administrator diversity from 2001 to 2016, we believe more work must be done to better understand barriers to increased diversity, and how they might be best addressed.”

     So, the researchers believe that “more work” must be done to increase diversity, and believe there are “barriers” that are not already well understood (eg, “different people are different” is still a confusing concept to them). Seeing as the researchers are drinking the proverbial Cool-Aid regarding diversity as a fundamental benefit, I’m inclined to believe they found no result because…there’s no result.

     I hope someday they start asking other questions like “why is diversity necessarily a benefit to higher education to the point that we need to deny education to hundreds of kids to pay for Diversity Officers?”…I won’t be holding my breath even though this strikes me as a supreme question for an educational facility to ask.

     I also won’t be expecting a single state school to look at this study and go “hmm, maybe we don’t need quite so many of these guys on campus.” After all, every dollar spent on faculty is a dollar that won’t go into administrative pay, and the more admin you have, the more you can pay them—it’s win-win when you hire diversity officers over faculty.

     Except for the students, of course, as every diversity officer hired is a loss for students. No worries, since all those diversity officers are paid for by student loans, which most students consider free money, at least until they leave campus and those first payments come due.

      Gee, I wonder if we’d stop wasting money on Diversity Kommissars if there was no student loan money paying for them? Can’t wait to see the study on that idea…

1.     Technically  I should use the past tense here, but if I get quite lucky I might still teach again. Maybe.

Monday, October 15, 2018

The Predatory Art School

By Professor Doom

     It’s no secret that the for-profit schools are doing the most harm to human beings via student loans…it’s such common knowledge that they are shedding students quickly, many have lost half or more of their students or shut down in the last five years.

     Now, the only reason these schools gained such infamy is our government has finally decided it’d had enough of our fake accreditation system.

     Corinthian was raking in over 1.4 billion a year off its 72,000 students even as the Federal government was shutting it down. It was an utter joke of an institution, but the accreditor didn’t care because Corinthian “complied” with the criteria. What are those criteria? Mainly, accrediting only asks the school if it thinks its doing its job...it’s all self-reported, and Corinthian was only too happy to say it was satisfied it was doing a great job.

     Now if you’re running a scam school, you’ll need students…students who don’t know what they’re getting in to. Most schools, for-profit and community colleges especially, focus on “first generation” students for just this reason, but the for-profits found an even better market to target: art students.

     The whole “left brain/right brain” stereotypes might not be always true, but there’s absolutely a grain of truth there, particularly with the idea that “artsy” people generally aren’t the best “numbers” people.

      If they don’t know about numbers, then they’re particularly vulnerable to loan predation, as they simply aren’t going to understand that it’s fiscally suicidal to get a $100,000 loan for a degree leading to a job paying $10,000 a year.

     And so art students were sucked into art schools, drained of their loan money, and spit back out on the street. Am I exaggerating?

     Please understand that even if these loans were for complete rip-off education, even if the school knows the degrees are worthless…the students are still on the hook, as these loans are secured with the brutal force of the federal government (which still took over 2 years to decide the victims of Corinthian shouldn’t still be in debt, incidentally).

Under President Barack Obama, the Department of Education had cracked down on for-profit schools, but President Donald Trump’s administration appears to have eased the pressure on such institutions considerably.

     I do wish the article had cited this assertion—Trump gets accused of many wrong things inaccurately. That said, I suppose it’s possibly true, although with so many of these schools already shut down, I’d rather expect there’d be less shutting down of schools.

Students are calling on the Department of Education to enforce an Obama-era regulation that would erase debts accrued at predatory schools of higher learning, according to CNBC. The Art Institutes’ financial aid offices, students say, would routinely call students to inform them that their student loans had run out and pressure them to take on more debt. The bill for a two-year associate’s degree could run as much as $90,000 and leave students with little to show for it, according to some alumni.

     Wow, you just know those art students had no idea that $45,000 a year in tuition, and only for a 2 year degree, was ridiculous. There are rules to erase student debt, incidentally, but they’re pretty draconian, something like 1 student in 280 actually qualifies (I’ll document this in a later post).

      The article puts much effort into blaming Trump for all this, and while he’s certainly not fixing the problem…the $1.5 trillion dollar student loan debt didn’t happen overnight, or even since Trump was elected.

…the Obama Administration to discharge severely disabled veterans’ student loans, but they were set aside due to complicating tax laws that would have required those with erased student loan debt to have to pay tax on it. The cancelled debt was considered to be taxable income.

--Wait, Obama wasn’t like, the head of the government? He had no influence over law enforcement (hi executive order)? For what it’s worth,Trump is trying to make it easier for Disabled Veterans to escape debt, but it’s not much of an issue--About half of them are in default. The government may as well write those off anyway.

     Back to our main article:

On the I am AI Facebook group page, some students claim that high interest rates have doubled the principal of their loans. “I have two loans totaling 13k with interest rates of nearly 9 percent and 11 percent,” wrote Sam Kotowski, asking for advice about refinancing private loans. “I have paid these fully since 2012 and, while it hasn’t grown, the total balance has only decreased about $300 when I have paid about 14k on them.

     Artsy people really aren’t the best with money, eh? Not only were they being charged about four times as much as your typical rip-off school, they were paying double the usual interest on the loans. Insult to injury, the payments were set up so a student could make regular payments essentially forever. In the above example, the student will, assuming he makes regular payments, be free from debt in about 40 years. Whew, good thing he’s only $13,000 in debt, the ones with more like $90,000 in debt will be paying for over 250 years. You really can’t expect art people to make such calculations.

     So, these art schools, having looted with abandon for years, will close down and ride into the sunset with immense profits. At least the scam ends, right? I mean, we all now know to avoid for-profit schools. Hmm, wonder what will happen with those old campuses…

Early last year, Dream Center Education Holdings, part of faith-based Los Angeles charity the Dream Center, purchased the 31 Art Institute schools, as well as the Argosy University and South University schools, from Education Management for $60 million.
Dream Center moved to convert the schools into nonprofits. (The approval from the Department of Education is still pending.)

     Now, “nonprofit” sounds better, but it’s really just a bit of accounting legerdemain, I assure the gentle reader a non-profit can be every bit as predatory as any for-profit, as NYU readily demonstrates.

     I really to point out the key detail here: the only reason the for-profits are now widely known as frauds is because our Federal government stopped trusting accreditation and decided to look with their own eyes. As the for-profits scuttle off into the darkness, we’ll see non-profits as scam schools just as soon as the government decides to take a look there.

      I assure the gentle reader, if the day ever comes when our government realizes the accreditors for for-profit schools are the same as for our state schools, and decides to look at what’s happening in state schools, especially community colleges, they’ll see fraud even more epic than in the for-profits.