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View Full Version : US: Great explanation of for-profit vs. not-for-profit colleges and universities


RobertoOrtiz
08-01-2012, 03:18 PM
Quote:
"The difference between for-profit and non-profit or public colleges is the fundamental mission of the institution. For-profit colleges are fundamentally businesses, whose primary mission is to make a profit. This is not necessarily bad, but it is a different mission from that of colleges whose fundamental mission is that of providing education.

Some (not all, but some) for-profit colleges have very bad track records so far as providing a decent education and placing their graduates. In fact some are nothing more than scams masquarading as educational institutions. So you need to be very careful about checking out any for-profit college you may be planning to attend. More than a few people have borrowed a lot of money to pay tuition at for-profit colleges, only to find that the college goes out of business before they complete their degree ... or worse, only to find that employers do not regard a degree from that college as worth the paper it is written on. Again, not all are like this, but a good number are, so it is important for the buyer to beware.

As to why public colleges and universities are so expensive: well, its not because they are making a profit. Most are heavily subsidized by taxpayers. Some (like UC Berkeley) are major world class research institutions. A lot of the expense is to build and maintain world class research facilities and to pay world-class faculty enough so they don't go elsewhere. You would not be the first person to wonder whether this is worth it for the average undergraduate student, who might get just as good an education from a smaller college more focused on teaching than on research.
"

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20081207213227AAxuajV

Meloncov
08-07-2012, 12:00 AM
It's not necessarily that simple, though. Some colleges are officially non-profit, but have still made their founders and their family very rich (see, SCAD) while others are for-profit but can still give a very good education (Academy of Art, Animation Mentor).

Andrewty07
08-07-2012, 03:52 AM
Very true on both posts, overall it is hard to define anything regarding the schools as black and white. Ultimately I believe it falls on the individual artists to flourish in whatever environment (school) they choose the nurture their creativity in. Nearly every single school I have researched has yielded some phenomenal student works and at the same time there is sheer rubbish out there. If an artist is driven and dedicates the time and energy into learning they will thrive even if their school has internal issues tossing debris in their path. I still have some time before I commit to progressing my education further in 2013, but have dug into schools for the past couple years.

BenBolin
08-31-2012, 02:55 AM
The idea that non-profit universities exist primarily to educate students is somewhat laughable. Academia itself is an institution whose primary function is to support its own existence, and employ its members. Let's be honest- anyone who isn't born wealthy goes to college with the intention of obtaining qualifications for employment afterward. But academic departments in many fields of study, primarily in the arts, liberal arts, and social sciences, "educate" far more students than there are pertinent positions in the workforce, including academia. They do this simply to pay the salaries of their faculty and staff, and fund their facilities. This is a grave disservice both to the students, who are deprived of functional skills, and to society at large, since student loans are primarily backed by the federal government, and any default is taken up by the taxpayer.

What makes this possible is that students coming out of high school (and in fact, most of their parents) lack an accurate conception of the job market, the size of each field, the level of competition, and the the skills necessary to succeed. Students are drawn to "interesting" fields of study rather than those where there is the most need, where securing employment is a reasonable expectation- and schools are all too happy to indulge them, since it is students that provide them with funding, rather than employers.

Bullit
08-31-2012, 02:30 PM
What a lot of neo-marxist drivel.

"So you need to be very careful about checking out any for-profit college you may be planning to attend. "

Really? only for profit? You should check everyone of them. The "free" "non profit" strangely paid with taxpayer with bureaucratic structure that have no end in sight and obviously the non profit.
There are no saints.

fig
08-31-2012, 05:43 PM
What a lot of neo-marxist drivel.

"So you need to be very careful about checking out any for-profit college you may be planning to attend. "

Really? only for profit? You should check everyone of them. The "free" "non profit" strangely paid with taxpayer with bureaucratic structure that have no end in sight and obviously the non profit.
There are no saints.

Yup, we might just simplify that to:
"So you need to be very careful about checking out any college you may be planning to attend."

That might cut down on the number Foreign Literature majors with $120k student loans who can't figure out why they can't get a job :)

I'm currently taking classes at a for-profit (iAnimate.net) and couldn't be happier with the level of education and service that I've experienced. It's all about doing your research and figuring out what's important.

taxguy
08-31-2012, 09:54 PM
Roberto, there is no question that being a "for profit" college isn't as beneficial as that of their non profit cousins. Let's face it, a non profit doesn't pay either federal or state income tax and also gets special postal rates. If this isn't enough, donations to non profits are tax deductible unlike donations to for profit colleges, if they get any to begin with, which is why most non profits have higher endowments.

In addition , the non profits usually give more in scholarship money than their "for profit" cousins. With all these benefits, you would think that all colleges would become a non profit. However, many don't for several reasons:

1. The owners and managers can pay themselves a LOT more than what they could pay themselves if they were non profits. Non profits must provide benefits to the public and not just to the owners.

2. For profit colleges have a LOT less scrutiny that that of non profits, which must publish IRS form 990s ,which show their financial statements and income earned. For profit schools can have a lot more privacy.

3. Due to having to benefit the public, non profits almost always give more in scholarships than those of "for profits."Of course, if you are not getting any money, this point is irrelavant. The cost to you will be about the same whether you attend a "for profit" or a "non profit."

4. With "for profit schools," any surplus is taxed and accrues to the owners. Thus, they have an incentive to cut costs as much as possible in order to maximize their profits. This is why faculty salaries tend to be lower with "for profit" schools than for non profits.


However, with all this said, there are non-profits that seem to operate a lot like" for profits." SCAD is a good example,which pays its president/owner more money than that of almost any other president of a non profit. Likewise, there are "for profit" schools that tend to operate a bit like a non profit. SVA is a good example. They provide decent scholarships for undergrads. Also, non profits tend to be more cost inefficient since they don't seem to care as much about costs as that of a "for profit" school. Also, because "non profit" income must inure to the public in general, they tend to give a lot more in scholarship money. Thus, if you aren't getting any money, You are the one paying for the others who do get scholarship money. Thus, with non profits, much of their money goes out in scholarships. With "for profit schools" must of the suplus goes out in payments to the owners. However, all things equal, going to a non profit is generally more beneficial for students than that of a "for profit" school. Thus, with a few exceptions, such as SVA, I would recommend staying away from most "for profit" schools.

Dillster
09-30-2012, 12:31 PM
....What makes this possible is that students coming out of high school (and in fact, most of their parents) lack an accurate conception of the job market, the size of each field, the level of competition....

That is very true in the media studies, where for instance journalism and press photography courses are booked out solid, but there are no jobs out there in the newpapers and other print media.
I think colleges should take some responsibility and advise students about the reality of gettng work in whatever field they want to study for. Knowing the facts of life would at least give students a chance to change course and study for something else.

Meloncov
10-01-2012, 02:56 AM
That is very true in the media studies, where for instance journalism and press photography courses are booked out solid, but there are no jobs out there in the newpapers and other print media.
I think colleges should take some responsibility and advise students about the reality of gettng work in whatever field they want to study for. Knowing the facts of life would at least give students a chance to change course and study for something else.

The thing is, there are jobs, just not nearly as many as their are people pursuing them. So how do you decide who is and who isn't allowed to chase their dream?

taxguy
10-01-2012, 05:03 PM
Meloncov notes,"
The thing is, there are jobs, just not nearly as many as their are people pursuing them. So how do you decide who is and who isn't allowed to chase their dream?"

Response; Perhaps the answer is much tougher requirements for both admission and graduation. Thus, those that do graduate from the program are top notch!

katisss
10-01-2012, 05:37 PM
In total there is way more money in the Cg education field than in making films. It is unlikely schools will take responsibility here.

Crotalis
10-01-2012, 05:43 PM
Ugh ... really? That was an absolutley horrible explanation of BOTH institutions. Anyone reading that is likely to get a skewed view of BOTH for-profit and non-profit schools. Roberto - I know how you feel about for-profit schools but it's starting to feel like a lop-sided crusade. That "explanation" is too general to really be of any use to anyone. Yes, some public schools are expensive because they are "World class" institutions. However - some are expensive because they have teachers on tenured contracts making disproportionate amounts of money that the school has to try and make up for. Guess which of those two scenarios is more common? Also, the statement about federal subsidies is also VERY misleading.

Yes, some for-profit schools are rip-offs, that being said, some are actually quite good. It is sad that the reputations of the good schools get tarnished by those of the bad. Really, the statement about being "careful when looking into a for-profit" school is silly. You should be careful when looking into ANY school.

As an (admittedly unscientific) anecdote, I work with someone who has an associates from an Art Institute and a Masters in Illustration from SCAD. If you were to hear his experiences from SCAD (which for him was the more expensive by FAR of the two) it would likely not be one of the schools you so readily trumpet. I'm not saying bad things aren't happening at "for-profits", but a little bit of balance may be in order. Just because a school is "for-profit" doesn't automatically mean "bad/evil/greedy" and just because a school is "non-profit" does not automatically mean "it's great!" Maybe I'm wrong, but I feel like the level of discourse in a forum specific to education and higher learning should be elevated to the point that articles like this are presented in a little more balanced light. Just saying ...


In total there is way more money in the Cg education field than in making films. It is unlikely schools will take responsibility here.

And that's the real truth of the matter as it currently stands. I don't see ANY institutions really saying this out loud. For profit or otherwise...

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