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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -
A Senator in Washington is criticizing for-profit private schools.
Senator Tom Harkin says he looked into the education services industry, and found that private schools like the University of Phoenix, DeVry, and Kaplan are more interested in recruiting than educating.
With the economy still sputtering, many people are changing careers to find jobs. To get a foot in the door, may people are enrolling in private for-profit schools.
Some of the schools have campus style classrooms. Many have online course. They all offer a variety of programs.
But according to Senator Harkin, most of these for-profit schools are cheating students.
His report says the schools are aggressively recruiting as many students as possible, and the schools are more interested in attracting students than educating them.
According to the report, there's a high drop-out rate, and many students are left with bad debt and no degree.
In a statement to WBTV, DeVry says "many of the issues, including improving graduation rates, ensuring ethical recruiting practices, reducing student debt and addressing the educational needs of underserved populations requires the whole of higher education's attention and action".
A spokesperson for the University of Phoenix says, "Much of what's included in the report, especially regarding enrollment practices, is outdated, misleading, and fails to capture the truth about the University of Phoenix."
In North Carolina, The State Board of Proprietary Schools was formed to oversee private for-profit schools with certificate and diploma programs.
The Vice Chair of the Board, Jack Henderson, says, "In North Carolina, the schools have made a concerted effort to increase the regulation on themselves. We have initiated several pieces of legislation over the last few years to improve oversight and student protection." He says one example is, "The student protection fund, that was created three years ago, which is a fund-all license schools pay into each year that would help refund money to students in the event a school closes suddenly and was not able to make those refunds."