The Real Cost of For-Profit Colleges

"FOR-PROFIT, FOUR-YEAR colleges advertise sticker prices that are, on average, somewhere between those of public and private nonprofit colleges. But experts encourage students considering for-profit colleges to look critically at other factors that contribute to cost, too, like the amount of institutional aid available, how long it takes to earn a degree and the value of that degree.

The average price of tuition and fees for first-time, full-time undergraduate students at degree-granting four-year for-profit colleges was $17,000 in 2017-2018, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

For comparison, that’s more than public four-year colleges, which cost $9,000 on average in the same year, and less than that of private nonprofit colleges that were priced at, on average, $34,600 in 2017-2018." …

Key phrase there is the value of the degree. The article points out the challenges of many for-profit schools at the end.

“I think it’s safe to say the majority of for-profit schools do not have good outcomes,” Howarth says. “There are probably a few that are good at what they do, but without really delving into reputation, a general wariness about the sector is warranted.”

Interested students need to be very diligent in their research.