NO ADVERTISING, GOVERNMENT OR CORPORATE FUNDING

  • Latest News
  • Pitch a Story
  • Work with a Journalist
  • Join the Blog Squad
  • Afghanistan
  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Baltimore
  • Canada
  • Egypt
  • Europe
  • Latin America
  • Middle East
  • Russia
  • Economy
  • Environment
  • Health Care
  • Military
  • Occupy
  • Organize This
  • Reality Asserts Itself
  • US Politics
  • $32 Billion For-Profit College Industry Becomes Pass-Through for Wall Street


    Glen Ford: With a 50% graduation rate and heavily indebted students, the government needs to establish a federal agency to regulate this newest Wall Street-connected scam -   July 14, 2014
    Members don't see ads. If you are a member, and you're seeing this appeal, click here

    Audio

      Share to Twitter
    Share to Facebook



    I support TRNN because it is the closest expression of the ideal of a free press I have seen. - Daniel
    Log in and tell us why you support TRNN

    Bio

    Glen Ford is a distinguished radio-show host and commentator. In 1977, Ford co-launched, produced and hosted America's Black Forum, the first nationally syndicated Black news interview program on commercial television. In 1987, Ford launched Rap It Up, the first nationally syndicated Hip Hop music show, broadcast on 65 radio stations. Ford co-founded the Black Commentator in 2002 and in 2006 he launched the Black Agenda Report. Ford is also the author of The Big Lie: An Analysis of U.S. Media Coverage of the Grenada Invasion.

    Transcript

    $32 Billion For-Profit College Industry Becomes Pass-Through for Wall 
StreetJESSICA DESVARIEUX, TRNN PRODUCER: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Jessica Desvarieux in Baltimore. And welcome to this edition of The Ford Report.

    Now joining us is our guest of honor, Glen Ford. He's the executive editor of the Black Agenda Report.

    Thanks for joining us, Glen.

    GLEN FORD, EXEC. EDITOR, BLACK AGENDA REPORT: Oh, thank you.

    DESVARIEUX: So, Glen, this week you're working on an article about the for-profit college industry. Can you describe a little bit about what your article's about?

    FORD: Well, we've got a crisis that's approaching, and it's a crisis in two parts. Part of the crisis is for Wall Street, and we're not really worried about that part. These for-profit colleges, which collect between them $32 billion in federal student aid money of one kind or another, these are actually not educational institutions. They are set up as pass-throughs for those federal monies. And so the absence of these institutions may in fact be a very good thing. They sap what little economic vitality is left in poor and black communities by stringing out people on years of debt and giving out diplomas, when people do manage to graduate, that aren't worth much in the workplace.

    But the other part of the crisis is the one that hits those people who are the students who have flocked to these institutions because nobody else was serving them. And that's why they were a group to be plundered by the shysters headquartered on Wall Street.

    DESVARIEUX: Well, let's name some names, Glen. We're talking about University of Phoenix. Who are we talking about here?

    FORD: Well, the University of Phoenix and an outfit called the Ashford University actually produce the most black bachelors degrees of any institutions in the country. If you're looking for people who are handing out degrees to black folks, it's not Clark University, it's not Morehouse, it's not Howard. It's Ashford and the University of Phoenix. So these are pretty well known if you watch television. These are organized hucksters who have tapped into a huge demand in black America. In the first decade of this century, black enrollment in these for-profit universities, like the University of Phoenix, went up 235 percent. Black enrollment in colleges in general, in all kinds of colleges, for-profit and traditional, went up 35 percent in that first decade, and most of that enrollment was into these for-profit colleges. And that tells you that the existing educational structure is not serving that particular community and is therefore complicit with driving literally hundreds and hundreds of thousands of poor people and aspiring people into the clutches of folks who are nothing but ripoff artists who ought to be sent to jail.

    The first victim--we hope they are a victim--is Corinthian, which is not the worst of the for-profit institutions. It's got about 70,000 students. It has 100-plus campuses around the country. It gets 83 percent of its revenue from the federal government. And when the feds were cracking down and were threatening just institute a pause in payments, Corinthian had to fold and move towards bankruptcy right away, because, once again, these are pass-throughs set up by hedge fund operators and the reason for their existence is just to move the money from the federal government into the coffers of Wall Street. And they don't have great reserves. They just to channel the money to the rich folks.

    DESVARIEUX: Yeah. And we're not the only ones talking about this, Glen 'cause I know on Capitol Hill you have senator from Illinois Dick Durbin and Elijah Cummings, Representative Cummings of Baltimore, really, they come out with a letter, and they were asking and calling for more oversight. Is that correct?

    FORD: Calling for more oversight, and Dick Durbin was actually calling for the heads of these organizations. He sounded like an abolitionist. He has pointed out that that $32 billion a year that goes from federal accounts straight through these for-profits--and then, of course, on to Wall Street--$32 billion is equivalent to the ninth-largest federal agency. That is, it is a big, a significant chunk of federal funding.

    Now, Durbin said it was the equivalent of a federal agency. I'm saying, well, why isn't there a federal agency, one that is set up specifically to serve the needs of this population that clearly has not been served by the traditional educational establishment, this population that was forced through desperation because nobody else was providing a service at all, would let them in, was forced into the hands of these--well, these corporate criminals who ripped them off? At most of these schools you're lucky if 50 percent of the students graduate. But they still owe money. Of those 50 percent or so that might graduate, they are lucky if they get a job that pays anything close to enough to pay back the student loan.

    DESVARIEUX: And, Glen, when we're talking about these students, most of them are parents, is that right, themselves?

    FORD: This is a much older demographic than your traditional student. These are people who want to improve their lives. They are hopeful. They believed the old maxim that education changes everything. And they stake their futures on it. Many of them are in middle age. They're scattered around the place. These are hopeful and aspiring people. And it is doubly cruel that they should have their hopes crushed by these evil criminal organizations at a later stage in life.

    But what is also evil is that there was no place else for them to go. There is no cabinet department with $32 billion that is saying, damn, all these black folks and brown folks really want an education; let's try to provide it for them since it's quite clear that the existing institutions won't do it.

    DESVARIEUX: Alright. That gives you a lot of food for thought next time you see one of those commercials, University of Phoenix commercials.

    Glen Ford, thank you so much for joining us.

    FORD: Thank you.

    DESVARIEUX: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.

    End

    DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.


    Comments

    Our automatic spam filter blocks comments with multiple links and multiple users using the same IP address. Please make thoughtful comments with minimal links using only one user name. If you think your comment has been mistakenly removed please email us at contact@therealnews.com

    Comments


    Latest Stories


    Oligarchs Consolidate Power in Ukraine after Parliamentary Elections (2/2)
    Baltimore Opens Section 8 Housing Waitlist for First Time in Decade, and One in Ten Residents Apply
    The Financialization of Life (6/6)
    'One Baltimore' Rally Unites Groups Against Privatization
    TRNN Replay: Is Baltimore City's Water Supply Up For Privatization?
    Oligarchs Consolidate Power in Ukraine after Parliamentary Elections (1/2)
    Hedges & Wolin (5/8) - Can Capitalism & Democracy Coexist?
    Baltimore Mayor and City Council Clash Over Police Body Cameras
    The Stigma of Welfare in White Working Class America (1/2)
    Ebola: A Disease of Extraordinary Poverty (1/2)
    What's Behind the Defeat of the Left in Toronto?
    A Third Intifada on the Horizon?
    After Re-election, Rousseff Faces A Conservative Congress in Brazil
    Nuclear Agreement with Iran May Become Midterm Election Fodder in Congress
    Hedges & Wolin (4/8) - Can Capitalism & Democracy Coexist?
    Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz: An Indigenous People's History of the United States (3/3)
    The Financialization of Life (5/6)
    Growing Rift Between US & Turkey Over Arming Kurds
    Is Financial Fraud Too Complex to Prosecute?
    Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz: An Indigenous People's History of the United States (2/3)
    Policing Isn't a Solution for Youth in Baltimore
    Jerusalem and the Fate of Palestinians
    Port Authur Texas Residents Sues EPA for Neglect
    The Financialization of Life (4/6)
    Kurdish Fighters Move to Regain Kobani
    Hedges and Wolin (3/8): Can Capitalism and Democracy Coexist?
    The Financialization of Life (3/6)
    Hedges & Wolin (2/8): Can Capitalism and Democracy Coexist?
    US Dropping Arms and Ammunition to Syrian Kurds in Kobani
    Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz: An Indigenous People's History of the United States (1/3)

    RealNewsNetwork.com, Real News Network, Real News, Real News For Real People, IWT are trademarks and service marks of IWT.TV inc. "The Real News" is the flagship show of IWT and Real News Network.

    All original content on this site is copyright of The Real News Network.  Click here for more

    Problems with this site? Please let us know

    Linux VPS Hosting by Star Dot Hosting