Study: Grads of For-Profit Colleges Face Job Market Hurdles

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Students who earned their bachelor’s degree from an online for-profit college are less likely to find success in the job market, research shows.

Such applicants were 22 percent less likely than their counterparts from non-selective public institutions to receive a call back when applying for positions that required a business degree, according to a study published in 2016 by the American Economic Review.

Similarly, employers filling health care jobs that didn’t require an additional certification (such as a nursing license) preferred public college grads over their for-profit counterparts, study data show.

Although preferences shift slightly when an applicant’s degree was granted by a for-profit institution with a local brick-and-mortar presence, researchers found that overall employers preferred candidates with degrees from public institutions.

“Our results support the idea that employers view a credential from a for-profit institution as a negative signal of applicant quality,” study authors note.

Read the full study and learn key questions to ask before enrolling in a for-profit colleges.

Admitted writer/editor Mary Stegmeir welcomes additional comments and story ideas at mstegmeir@nacacnet.org.

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