More States Engage in For-Profit College Oversight

For-profit colleges have been under fire from Washington the last few years. Some states, including Kentucky and Illinois, are now taking a closer look at the business practices of these schools. In Indiana, the Council for Proprietary Education maintains its own board but will now be administered by the Commission for Higher Education. Stateline reports:

Rhode Island legislators are considering whether to give preliminary approval for the country’s second for-profit osteopathic medical school.

The proposed Rhode Island School of Osteopathic Medicine would become the state’s only current degree-granting for-profit college if it also wins final approval from the state’s Board of Governor’s for Higher Education. It’s the second proposal for a for-profit college in the state this session, according to Larry Berman, spokesman for the House of Representatives. The first, Utah-based Neumont University, decided to shift its focus to Massachusetts after the House didn’t fast-track the plan, Berman said.

The osteopathic medical school proposal has already drawn fire. It’s opposed by Brown University, the state’s only current medical school, Berman said, and Daniel Egan, president of Rhode Island’s Association of Independent Colleges & Universities, called the for-profit sector of education “predatory and troubled,” according to the Providence Journal.

The bill is mum on details, but one of its sponsors, Representative Joseph McNamara, says the new college would have lower tuition than most traditional medical schools and be a boon to the state and local economy, particularly because of its for-profit status.

“The fact that a medical school would come in and pay taxes for the services they are receiving in my eyes is very impressive,” McNamara said.

Rhode Island’s deliberations come as more states are taking a harder look at the fast-growing for-profit college sector.