Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "for-profit colleges" ...

  • How America’s College-Closure Crisis Leaves Families Devastated

    After a chain of for-profit colleges abruptly closed, The Chronicle of Higher Education conducted an in-depth analysis of federal data related to closures. The analysis, which required extensive data work, showed that more than 1,200 college campuses closed in the last five years – an average of 20 closures per month. These closures displaced roughly 500,000 students, most of whom were working adults. The data showed that most of these displaced students were at least 25 years old, and about 57 percent are racial minorities. The vast majority of displaced students – nearly 85 percent – attended a for-profit college. The for-profit industry has received scant oversight from the Trump administration, despite the industry’s long history of problems. The Chronicle’s investigation highlighted the need for greater oversight of this troubled sector of higher education.
  • STARZ's Fail State

    Executive produced by news legend Dan Rather, FAIL STATE investigates the dark side of American higher education, chronicling the decades of policy decisions in Washington, D.C. that have given rise to a powerful and highly-predatory for-profit college industry. With echoes of the subprime mortgage crisis, the film lays bare how for-profit colleges exploit millions of low-income and minority students, leaving them with worthless degrees and drowning in student loan debt. Combining five years of research and interviews from over 60 experts, policymakers, whistleblowers, and students defrauded by their colleges, director Alexander Shebanow presents a searing exposé on the for-profit college industry and the lawmakers enabling widespread fraud and abuse in American higher education. FAIL STATE debuted on STARZ on December 17th, 2018.
  • CALmatters: California’s for-profit college watchdog fails to police as feds back down

    The California agency responsible for overseeing the state’s 1,000-plus for-profit colleges and vocational schools has repeatedly failed or been slow to enforce laws meant to prevent fraud and abuse, leaving a serious gap in accountability as federal regulators back away from the job.
  • For-Profit-College Business Model Breeds Exploitative Marketing Tactics

    In the first radio piece: Interviews with former recruiters, faculty, administrators and students of a small group of for-profit colleges in Minnesota paint a picture of schools that are exploiting unsophisticated students for their financial-aid money. Analysis points to a high-enrollment, high-dropout business model that earns the company millions but provides questionable return on taxpayer investment. In the second radio piece: Political differences at the federal level make it unclear how much the government will regulate for-profit colleges. At the Minnesota state level, the leading official for higher-ed says his agency doesn’t have the resources to go after problem colleges – and isn’t sure whether beefing up enforcement would be the best use of higher-education funding.
  • Government Vastly Undercounts Defaults

    The story explores the problem of student loan defaults, using unpublished data from the Education Department. It looks at what defaults costs borrowers and taxpayers and examines why for-profit colleges have the worst default rates.
  • Selling Out Higher - Education Policy

    The articles look at the power and influence deep-pocketed interests have on the making of higher-education policy in the nation's capital. The stories revealed that bankers from the student loan industry and for-profit colleges had donated almost $1 million to the members of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. The articles also show how those donations ended up being spent strengthening the Republican presence in the House.