For-profit Education Concerns

I know I talk about For-profit Education and all the wonders and possibilities it holds.  If I was looking for an ethical investment something that yields steady returns I would consider Education.  For-profit schools are supposed to fill a gap that the current education system is void, it should be a socially responsible company.  A For-profit school seems like a win-win.  However when I watch documentaries like the one on Frontline- College Inc. and I hear a leader like Mark Defusco.  Who states more money is spent on marketing than teaching 25% verses 10-20% respectively; and how “for-profits have to get people’s attention”.  I can’t help but be flustered.

Is marketing the only way to recruit students?  What happened to word of mouth and quality education, alumni donations or research.

Is greed really the nature of this industry?  Not to attack Mr. Defusco but did he graduate from one of these For-profit schools?  How can he compare the marketing of education to selling perfume?  (Mr. Defusco earned his Ph. D from USC)

It is my own fault, thinking that education could be socially responsible.  (I don’t just mean for-profits)


*If you would like to enjoy more tidbits from Mr. Defusco please read his full transcript (I most enjoyed the last section regarding gainful employment and comments on loan forgiveness)*



  1. Madelyn says:

    I never really thought about it before, but I have worked for two private, for-profit colleges in two different positions. One as a recruiter where I traveled 2 states giving presentations to high school students and another as an instructor for an upper level class. Both schools are comparable in location, degrees, reputation, tuition, etc., but I was paid more as a recruiter than as an instructor.


    1. I guess traveling takes a personal toll on the person in that position therefore I can understand wanting to compensate an employee who doesn’t have the comforts of home. I’m not thinking of salaries on an individual basis is the problem. I’m concerned when the over all spending for marketing or recruitment is more than the entire compensation alloted for instruction. Say the marketing team is 15 people. The individual salary the Director might be more than an individual instructor. However should the marketing department including salaries and expenses cost more than the education departments expenses and salaries. I’m sure schools with a 15 person marketing staff have more than 15 teachers. Which makes me wonder if the issue lies in inefficient recruitment methods.


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