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More Expensive

For-Profit Schools Are Far More Expensive Than Comparable Programs At Community Colleges Or Public Universities

For a two-year associate degree with an estimated annual earning power of around $40,000 a year, Corinthian's Everest charges over $46,000, ITT charges over $44,000 and Westwood College charges over $35,000. In each case, a community college offering a comparable programs costs between $6,000 and $9,000.

Bachelor's degree programs have similarly high tuition: at ITT, a degree costs almost $89,000, at Corinthian, over $81,000, and at Westwood, over $70,000. Meanwhile a flagship public school offers the same programs for $25,000 to $40,000.

This high cost means that most students must borrow money to pay their tuition. Ninety-five percent of students attending for-profit schools borrow money, compared to 12 percent at community colleges.

The trend towards higher and higher tuition at for-profit schools appears to have no relation to the academic or student services offered. In May 2011, Corinthian raised tuition and average of 12 percent for students seeking associate and bachelor's degrees. That means a student studying to attain a bachelor's degree in business will pay an additional $8,000. But the company did not raise tuition to pay for more faculty or new facilities, but rather in order to bring in more cash.

Internal For-Profit School Documents collected by HELP Committee