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The Benefits of Non-Profit Universities over For-Profit Institutions

itugraduation050314-222One of the most significant trends of the past 20 years in US Higher Education has been the rise in attendance at for-profit universities. Despite being an expensive option for post-high school students, an option in which many students must take out substantial student loans to pay for, for-profit colleges have increased in popularity.

For-profit colleges justify their higher tuition charges by claiming that the quality of education and reputation of the college will help students in the job market after graduation. However, a recent study by the National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research (CALDER) has found that a degree from for-profit universities does not give graduates an advantage in the job market.

Researchers at CALDER focused on sub-baccalaureate credentials, and sent 8,914 fake resumes in response to job postings in six different categories of work. The response rates of the applicants with degrees from for-profit universities was measured against an equivalent community college certification.

The experiment concluded that degrees from for-profit colleges do not help job applicants any more than community college degrees. In fact, fake resumes with a community college listed, received slightly more responses than their for-profit degree equivalents, though this was within the experiment’s margin of error.

The research has raised further questions about the cost of degrees from for-profit universities, against a less expensive college. A 2012 report from the National Bureau of Economic Research also found that graduates from a for-profit university earned $1,800-$2,000 less than their peers from other universities.

The Advantages of a Non-Profit University

doctorate-graduateNon-profit universities have many advantages over their for-profit equivalents, in addition to offering a less expensive education. For-profit universities rationalize their high tuition prices by claiming that their graduates will be vindicated in the job market, but studies like this should encourage potential students to explore less expensive alternatives.

Not-for profit universities like ITU are more students focused. One of the main aims of for-profit schools is to remain profitable, while non-profits can focus more on ensuring that students get the most out of their time in university, and are provided with a high-quality education. This is reflected in the graduation rates of non-profits, weighed against for-profit universities. The graduation rate at private non-profit institutions was 66 percent in 2012 (the most recent available data); private for-profit institutions had a graduation rate of just 32 percent, less than half of that of non-profits.

A stronger student-focused education at non-profits is also evident in terms of spending on students. According to a 2012 government study, for-profit universities spent an average of $3,017 per student on instructional costs, compared to $15,321 spent by non-profits.

ITU: A Non-Profit Focused on Student Success

ITU is proud to be a non-profit that puts students first. Our focus is not on making a profit, but on ensuring that students get the best education and a great college experience. We keep tuition costs low to give our students the best chance at reaching their goals. In addition to this, ITU offers credit for internships, which encourages students to earn while they learn. Students have the chance to gain knowledge in an industry that is relevant to their field of study while also reducing the financial burden.

Angie Lo, Associate Director of Strategic Planning at ITU, says:”As a non-profit, we at ITU have a mission. We are here to make a positive impact. We focus on serving our students and help them achieve their goals. The sense of community is more important to us than revenue.” To learn more about ITU’s educational goals, you can read our mission statement on the ITU website.