For-profit schools could face N.J. penalties for low graduation rates

A New Jersey lawmaker wants to penalize for-profit schools that have low graduation rates. A bill sponsored by Assemblyman Joe Cryan would allow the state to revoke the license of any such school in the Garden State if less than 75 percent of their students finish with a degree.

 

These schools are more expensive and have much lower graduation rates than New Jersey’s public colleges, said Cryan. And, he said, they’re more concerned about profit than students who go into debt without completing the training they need for a job.

“It’s a frightening consequence. It’s a national issue,” said Cryan, D-Union. “We have an opportunity here in New Jersey to set some standards that are reasonable.”

Opposing the legislation, Richard Van Wagner, a lobbyist for DeVry University, said other factors such as faculty and a commitment to staffing need to be considered.

“There’s a lot that goes into the equation, not just graduation rates,” he said.

Although the Assembly Education Committee approved the legislation, it might not move quickly. Senate President Steve Sweeney said wants to form a commission to study several education reform bills before posting them for vote.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.