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The Source: For-Profit Colleges Targeting Homeless And Vulnerable Youth

Flickr user Corey Seeman (cseeman)

For-profit colleges have been targeting, and at times exploiting, the most vulnerable students in order to make money. That is the allegation being lobbied by countless organizations.

One such organization is Covenant House International, a nonprofit advocacy and suite of services for homeless youth operating in 21 cities across the U.S. and Latin America.

Covenant House CEO Kevin Ryan wrote recently that for-profit schools are leaving homeless students with huge debts and little skills to show for it.

These loans would in turn destroy the young person's credit, making it harder, if not impossible, for them to get loans for cars, or be accepted for some rental applications.

Another recent example was of a 37-year-old with a third grade reading level being accepted into a criminal justice program at Everest College. Everest is run by Corinthian Colleges, a for-profit organization that has accepted more than $1 billion in federal student aid.

Last week the comment period ended for the White House's college "gainful employment" rule ended. The rule would shine a spotlight on degrees, programs, and institutions that weren't setting students up for work after college completion. A coalition of groups from the NAACP to organized labor have asked the government to stop giving federal loans to students in these programs.


  • Tina Kelley, staff writer for Covenant House International
  • David Halperin, writes about for-profit college reforms at Republicreport.org. He also wrote a book on it called Stealing America's Future.

Disclosure Note: Producer Paul Flahive worked for Covenant House Alaska from 2008-2011. 

*This is the first segment in the June 3 edition of The Source, which airs at 3 p.m. on KSTX 89.1 FM. Audio from this show will be posted by 5:30 p.m.

Paul Flahive can be reached at Paul@tpr.org and on Twitter at @paulflahive