Ashford University investing in Iowa, screwing American students

(Good piece, important issue to consider when it comes to costs & accountability in higher ed. - promoted by Mark Langgin)

This evening, Chris Kirkham with The Huffington Post wrote a scathing article about Ashford University, which is a for-profit college located in Clinton, Iowa that has 76,000 students, 99% of them take classes online.

This online college has been basically robbing students blind, 60% to 70% of people who enroll there drop out and are stuck with huge debts.  What’s worse, the public corporation running the school has been robbing the federal government blind too.  Huffpost reports that nearly 85% of their revenues, nearly $600 million last year, came from the federal government.

Now, you may ask, how is this happening in our backyard without more of an uproar? One reason might be the campaign contributions and political glad handing that the parent company for Ashford University, Bridgepoint Education, has undertaken this past year.

Bridgepoint Education PAC contributed at least $7,250 to Iowa politicians in 2010.  The contributions have been mixed between D’s and R’s, but the Clinton County Republican Central Committee was able to squeeze $350 from their PAC.   Click here to see the Bridgepoint Education PAC campaign finance records.  Bridgepoint Education also invested over $40,000 on lobbyists in 2010.

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