The Business of Choosing a College: A View of the For-Profit Sector
Franklin, Shannon Brooke
The papers in this volume sought to answer why students enroll in for-profit colleges and universities and what factors influence their enrollment. It further sought to determine the degree to which current models of choice are applicable for these students in the U.S. and the degree to which models of college choice have become universal. Using a multinomial regression, paper 1 found that low-income or first generation status made one more likely to enroll in a for-profit institution. Paper 2 found a potential explanation for the findings from Paper 1; for-profits offer significantly more help and support in admissions than their traditional counterparts. Student surveys revealed help with the process as being important in enrollment decisions. Paper 3 duplicated Paper 1 but in the Brazilian context, analyzing the effects of a policy (ProUni) meant to increase enrollment by low-income students. The results were encouraging, finding an increased likelihood of enrollment by eligible students after implementation. More generally, these papers found that current models of college choice are largely inapplicable when dealing with students in for-profits and that although we may be moving towards a universal model of college choice, significant differences between systems still exist which make that untenable.