Speed Reads

an unequal system

For-profit universities are increasingly filled by students in poverty

An increasing number of impoverished students are enrolling in the for-profit education industry.

Less selective institutions have seen a rise in enrollment from students who are living in poverty, Pew Research Center found. The study, which examined enrollment across institutions from 1996 and 2016, showed that an increase in enrollment across all undergraduate educational institutions was fueled almost entirely by more low-income families and students of color enrolling.

Thirty-six percent of dependent students and 50 percent of independents at for-profit universities were in poverty in 2016. Both of these groups made up the highest income distribution bracket at for-profit schools, per the report.

For-profit universities can be an attractive option for students, but they are typically more expensive than not-for-profit institutions and present more struggles in paying off student debt, reports Axios. For-profit schools are also more likely to shut down, and some have been accused of false advertising and predatory lending, per Axios.

Across the board, students in poverty have increased at all undergraduate institutions. Among all dependent undergraduates, the percentage in poverty increased from 12 to 20 percent over the 20-year-period and from 29 to 42 percent among independent undergrads.