Want to Learn a Trade? Why a Public College May Be Your Best Bet
Life + Leisure

Want to Learn a Trade? Why a Public College May Be Your Best Bet

© Noah Berger / Reuters

Students interested in certificate programs that prepare them for a careers are much better off enrolling at public colleges than at private, for-profit schools, according to new data from the Department of Education.

The data finds that students who receive certificates at public colleges go on to make nearly $9,000 more than those who get comparable certificates at for-profit programs.

Related: The Best College for the Money in Every State

It’s worth noting that those who attend public schools typically go into higher earning fields, like nursing, but even so, a third of students who graduate from for-profit certificate programs end up making less than minimum wage after graduation.

For-profit colleges have come under fire in recent years, as critics claims that their students take on unreasonable amounts of debt, are less likely to complete their studies, and sometimes receive inadequate training for their careers.

In September ITT Technical Institute was the latest for-profit school to abruptly shut down after the U.S. government ordered it to stop enrolling students who receive federal aid.

Less than a week later, the Consumer Financial Protection Board fined for-profit college Bridgepoint Education $8 million and forced it to discharge outstanding student loans and refund payments, claiming that it misled students about the total cost of the debt they were incurring.

The government crackdown on for-profit schools may be coming to an end, however, if the incoming Trump administration curtails the power of the CFPB or otherwise decides not to take as hard a line with the schools.

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