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For-Profit Colleges Under Fire In Massachusetts

In this 2009 file photo, a University of Phoenix billboard is shown in Chandler, Ariz.  (AP)

In this 2009 file photo, a University of Phoenix billboard is shown in Chandler, Ariz. (AP)

For-profit colleges have been under fire by both federal and state lawmakers for questionable recruiting practices and high loan default rates among students. Critics say the schools over promise training and jobs to vulnerable populations.

Mass. Attorney General Martha Coakley joined the U.S Department of Justice and several other states in a private lawsuit that claims the Education Management Corporation — the country’s second largest for-profit college chain — of illegal recruiting practices.

Coakley is also investigating several other for-profit schools in the state, including the Kaplan Career Institute, owned by the Washington Post Company.

Supporters say for-profits schools allow many people access to training and education that would otherwise be locked out of higher education and the job market.


  • Deanne Loonin, attorney, National Consumer Law Center
  • Harris Miller, president, Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities

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