NAICU Letter to the Christian Science Monitor

October 18, 2010

Letters to the Editor
Christian Science Monitor

October 8, 2010

To the Editor:

There's a touch of irony here: In response to what you view as "biased bashing of career schools" by the Obama administration (The Monitor's View, October 7), you respond with your own biased bashing of traditional colleges. That's hardly an example of the kind of accountability for all of American higher education which you claim to seek.

Without adding an additional layer of hyperbole to this volatile issue, I do want to correct some of the basic misperceptions about non-profit colleges perpetuated in your recent editorial.

  • 40,000 of the 53,000 programs that the administration seeks to regulate under the proposed Gainful Employment regulations are at public and non-profit institutions. It is false for you to claim that these programs are only at, or even predominately at, for-profit colleges.
  • Non-profit colleges - like all sectors - serve the poor, the less-academically prepared, and adult learners. It has been a long-established fact that non-profit colleges have the greatest success rate with these students. In fact, we have recently posted a publicly available list of more than 500 of the programs contributing to this success ( Our hope is that by sharing this with institutions across all of higher education - including for-profit schools - we can all do more to help our nation reach the 2020 goal of being first in the world in college completion.
  • Many of our colleges are engaged in such initiatives as online learning, three-year degree programs, summer programs, and satellite campuses, in order to more effectively serve the diverse needs of an increasingly diverse college-going population.

All of us should make sure that the students who are counting on America's higher education system aren't failed by it, and that in supporting that system, taxpayers' dollars are not wasted. Those should be the key points on which any federal oversight of higher education should be based.

As you seek to defend one sector of higher education, it is not necessary to do so by attacking other sectors with myths and innuendos. Your readers depend on information resources like the Christian Science Monitor to sort fact from myth.

David L. Warren
National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities
Washington, D.C.

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