Report: Some for-profit students outperform peers from traditional institutions

Dive Brief:

  • A new report issued by the Council for Aid to Education suggests that proprietary, or for-profit, institutions are as proficient at preparing students as their nonprofit counterparts.
  • The Council used their Collegiate Learning Assessment tool to give participants from both school types two tests requiring a written response for solving a real world scenario, and a questionnaire requiring answers given from provided materials. In both cases, students from both institutions scored at similar levels of performance.
  • In some cases, seniors at for-profit institutions scored slightly better than seniors at traditional institutions on both elements of the assessment.

Dive Insight:

This study has some significant limitations in that it may accurately measure students’ ability to complete assessments that measure practical problem solving and studying skills, but it does not address professional training of any specific kind. Additionally, it could not quantify how highly employers would regard credentials awarded by for-profits, as most are shying away from these schools and boot camps, which offer students niche skills and training concepts.

The study should help college leaders to recognize that employers are indeed looking for workers who can problem-solve, who consider how to maximize profits and productivity, and who can be innovative within the industry. And these same schools should pioneer the assessment tools which showcase this capacity of recent graduates, and those over a certain period to show the lasting impact of higher education.

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Filed Under: Higher Ed For-Profit