Bloomberg Investigation: For-Profit Colleges

Education Inc.

A series of Bloomberg News articles revealed that for-profit colleges have mushroomed into a $30-billion-a-year industry at taxpayer expense by targeting vulnerable populations -- disabled military and veterans, the homeless, immigrants and minorities -- with misleading promises of low costs, online academic help, and lucrative jobs after graduation. While federal aid to these colleges, owned by such prominent corporations as Goldman Sachs Group and Washington Post Co., has increased sixfold in a decade and their executives have pocketed $2 billion in pay and stock sales, most for-profit college students drop out and can't repay their loans, the series showed, helping prompt House and Senate hearings, a scathing Government Accountability Office report, and a 24 percent decline in the companies' stock market value.

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