Aid to for-profit colleges – Not a matter of racial justice

The for-profit college industry in the United States made a push last week to be included in a funding increase to the main federal grant programme for low-income students, as Democratic lawmakers enter the final stretch of negotiations over a major social spending component of President Joe Biden’s ‘Build Back Better’ plan, writes Hassan Kanu for Reuters.

Democrats are proposing to add US$550 to annual Pell Grants, boosting the award amount from US$6,495 to US$7,045. The increase would apply to students at non-profit and public universities, but it would not apply to for-profit institutions. It’s expected, then, that private for-profit schools would move to protect or improve their interests, potentially affected by the upcoming government policies. That’s par for the course for US businesses.

At first glance, it may seem unfair to exclude for-profit institutions, which have high percentages of students of colour and poor students, from the funding increase. But a closer look reveals that including the historically scandal-ridden industry could perpetuate the problem of inferior education options for already-vulnerable populations.
Full report on the Reuters site