WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following the release of data from the U.S. Department of Education which revealed that graduates of for-profit colleges’ career training programs earn significantly less than their public college counterparts, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) reiterated his call for increased oversight of for-profit colleges to ensure they are providing students with the education and return on their investment that they were promised. 

“Too many for-profit colleges cut corners when it comes to students’ education, leaving them unable to secure the good-paying jobs they worked hard for,” said Brown. “We need rigorous oversight to hold these fraudulent for-profit colleges accountable to students and taxpayers.”

ED’s study found that graduates of public undergraduate certificate programs earn an average of nearly $9,000 more than graduates of for-profit undergraduate certificate programs. For-profit colleges were also found to have more students enrolled in low-earning fields. In a comparison of students who pursued the same field, graduates of public undergraduate certificate programs earned an average of nearly $2,700 more than their for-profit college counterparts.

32 percent of for-profit students who graduated from an undergraduate certificate program earn a median wage at or below $14,500, the wages of a full-time worker earning the federal minimum wage.

Brown continues to work to protect students from predatory practices. In July 2015, Brown called on ED to take a proactive role in protecting students attending poor performing, for-profit colleges. In a letter to then ED Secretary Arne Duncan, Brown urged the Department to develop a more effective strategy for dealing with the bad actors in the for-profit education industry and minimizing the potential harm to taxpayers.