It's become clear that even legitimate universities are, for many, a hugely overpriced scam. So how bad of an investment do you think those "for-profit colleges" like the University of Phoenix are? Let's just say... fucking awful, horrible, STAY AWAY.

A big new report on for-profit colleges from the Education Trust says, essentially: many of them are a black hole, sucking in money from those who can least afford it and giving back nothing. The University of Phoenix is the nation's biggest for-profit college. Why? "[Only] only 9 percent of the first-time, full-time bachelor's degree students...graduate within six years." And among the school's online students ("online student"= POOR CHOICE), the six-year graduation rate is 5%.

Playing craps would give you much better odds for success with that money. The whole industry is a poor investment, according to the NYT:

The report, "Subprime Opportunity," by the Education Trust, found that in 2008, only 22 percent of the first-time, full-time bachelor's degree students at for-profit colleges over all graduate within six years, compared with 55 percent at public institutions and 65 percent at private nonprofit colleges.

So kids, please, please: don't waste your money on college unless you really plan to graduate. And if you really plan to graduate, go to a real, actual community college, or a real, actual four-year college with reasonable tuition. Don't bury yourself in debt. And definitely don't bury yourself in debt for a degree from a "for-profit college." Because you probably won't even get the degree, and if you do, it still was probably not worth what you paid for it.

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