CARES Act higher ed funding formula skewed in favor of for-profit schools
Posted July 27, 2020 in Press Releases
Private for-profit colleges received a disproportionate share of federal relief funding for Ohio’s higher education institutions, according to a Policy Matters analysis of national data compiled by the Center for American Progress.
For-profit schools enroll fewer than 4% of all Ohio postsecondary students but were allocated more than 8% of the $395 million in higher education relief allocated to the state in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
“The CARES Act allocated more than twice as much per student to Ohio’s private for-profit schools as it did to private nonprofit and public schools,” said Research Consultant Piet van Lier, co-author of the brief. “Many for-profits engage in predatory recruiting of Black and other underserved students, and tend to leave graduates with higher debt and less earning power on the job market.”
By contrast, two-year public schools, including the state’s community and technical colleges, enrolled 30% of Ohio’s postsecondary students, but their allocation totaled less than 20% of the state’s CARES Act formula funding.
“Public two-year schools provide an entry point for many Ohioans seeking to jumpstart their educations and careers,” said van Lier. “Future relief should focus on expanding access and success for the students who will need education and training more than ever in the ongoing recession.”
In addition to recommendations for federal policymakers, the report recommends Ohio tap into the state’s rainy day fund to support education and eliminate ineffective tax loopholes to raise additional revenue.
“Ohio’s leaders must ensure equitable and affordable access to public postsecondary education for all Ohioans, no matter what they look like or where they live,” said van Lier. “In this moment of crisis, we ignore our state’s public higher education system at great risk to our future.”