Halting Pell Grants at For-Profit Schools Will Hurt Minorities- Maybe Not?

I enjoy scanning TheRoot.com on my google reader every afternoon.  It usually has a nice mix of news from around the country.  However I was pretty surprised when I read the post regarding Pell Grants Hurting Minorities.

Being a minority myself, I am sort of conflicted about the issue.  Yes, I want minorities especially black men to have the opportunity to utilize federal funding like other citizens towards education.  However, I’m in support the new regulation regarding this student loan debt issue because many of these schools are exploiting minorities.  I’m thinking of reports out there that says these schools are not preparing students for jobs.  Yes without the Pell Grant students attending some of these Colleges will take on more student loans.  (Do you want to pay for education that doesn’t prepare you anyway?)

With this regulation in place are schools going to ignore their primary selling point? ::cough Financial Aid cough:: I don’t think so.  I think they will make changes to increase the earning potential of their graduates.  This regulation is encouragement for Colleges to prepare students for the jobs and the American Dream the Enrollment Advisors sold them on.

Furthermore, many of these schools are Career, Vocational and Technical Schools educating our communities.  Which begs me to ask:  Do we really need more Cosmetology and Auto-mechanic certificates floating around?  Seems to me the community needs educators, economists and philosophers.  So do we really want these schools educating our communities, increasing our debt load with out repercussion?  Not to mention your tax dollars being used to generate wealth for these companies (but that is another post).

Credit to Mr. Alford I thought it was good article.  In regards to the Editors Note, I can understand the stance.  But I’m sure there were more ways to spin this story to challenge your organization to take responsibility instead of flat-out avoidance.  But we each have to pick our battles maybe this isn’t yours. 

Editors Note: Our parent company, The Washington Post Company, and its Kaplan division have also taken a position opposing the Department of Education’s planned revision of the financial aid eligibility requirements.



  1. Madelyn says:

    I’ve worked for several private vocational and technical colleges and universities, and they tend to pry on the nontraditional student. The recruiters and marketers are out looking for a certain type of student… and the tuition at these schools seems exorbitant next to what I paid for both my BA and MA at state universities. My experience teaching for these schools has led me to think a lot of the nontraditional students, whether they be minority or not, do not yet have the skills to succeed in a traditional higher ed institution. I’m not sure that the grant programs need to be stopped, but I do think they need to be re-examined.


    1. I agree, most of these schools are looking for a specific type of student. Some of the students don’t have the skills to be successful at a traditional institution. However some of these students really need the convenience most of the programs offer, flexible schedules the ability to work from home. For the student that would fair well at a traditional school academically its unfortunate that the marketing team isn’t focused on those students instead of mass producing graduates. I think what if it was really hard, very competitive to get into one of these distance learning programs. In this case selectivity might have been the better business route. Part of attending a college is about networking and building relationships with you peers. (Discussing Economics with people across the country how cool would that be?) Spending time relationship building is difficult when students are struggling just to read the material. Maybe then the price tag would be worth it if the experiences were more impactful. Does that make any sense?

      *For the record I attended a fairly expensive private school in PA and I value every dime I spent on my education*


  2. ranavain says:

    BTW, I think you’re right about regulations causing an increase in school quality, rather than lessening access to education. Totally right.


  3. consciousnubein says:

    My question is “WHAT ARE YOU and WE GOING TO DO ABOUT IT? Me as a generation X’r, would love to partner with folks your age to talk about solutions to change this dynamic. I know your peers are smart, couragious, and defiant in making this change a law. Especially the folks with the high education loans. Let us all re-tweet, re-email, and discuss this topic in our own Churches, Halls, and communities and get a consensus to resolve this issue as a UNITED community. I hope to see D.H. on Larry King Live discussing this issue and folks on both sides of the Political issue supporting this cause to resolve it.

    Where are the other strong Males & Females who believe in resolving this problem? Let’s here from YOU.


  4. ranavain says:

    Based on my experience looking at Craigslist for the past 6 months or so, I have to say that auto mechanics and cosmetologists are still pretty high-demand (I mean, for the economy). As a graduate of a private, liberal-arts school, as much as I appreciate that kind of education, I don’t see a demand for more economists and philosophers. I’d rather see people getting practical educations now and pursuing enlightenment later (when they’re mature enough for it anyhow).

    Not necessarily related to the post, but still felt the need to say it. 🙂


    1. Thanks for your feedback, but I can not say I agree with obtaining a “practical” degree and put off enlightenment for later. Developing ones self is a life journey that I don’t think should be placed on the back burner. The average American (mind you this is anecdotal) does not have a firm grasp of themselves much less economics.

      Lets focus on economics for a moment. This expanding pool of uneducated people without the critical thinking skills to evaluate economics in their communities effects the whole system. Uneducated/untrained people voting on policies or supporting polices when they don’t understand how it effects them really is not good for society. Instead of a group of people that can throughly flesh out both sides of an economic policy and how it is going to effect each group. You have people voting based on rhetoric instead of evaluating fact.

      If individuals who were working on Wall Street took into consideration the impact of each of the fraudulent activities going on inside different firms maybe we would not have had the Great Recession. (The Wall Street Crisis I think was an issue of philosophical, ethics and moral negligence and less regard to economic understanding, hello Socrates can you teach us? )


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