One Example Of A Nonprofit College Spending More On Marketing Than On Financial Aid For Its Students

  • Baker College sells itself as “a haven for those who dream big,” touting low costs and employment rates of nearly 100% for job-seeking graduates — making the dream seem both affordable and achievable.
  • The ads neglect to mention that its marketing efforts cost $9.7 million during the 2019-20 school year more than the college spent on financial aid, according to Baker’s president and chief executive.
  • In their ads, the college neglects to say that it has the third-lowest graduation rate among 26 of the private four-year schools in Michigan, and fewer than one-quarter of its students graduate.

Anna Clark, ProPublica, and David Jesse, Detroit Free Press write:

“This article was co-published with the Detroit Free Press.

Baker College sells itself as a place where students thrive and lives are transformed: “a haven for those who dream big.”

From humble beginnings as a small business school in Flint, Baker rose to become the largest private college in Michigan, forging a presence in online learning and in Michigan towns where many students thought a college degree was beyond their grasp. For decades, the school’s marketing touted low costs and employment rates of nearly 100% for job-seeking graduates — making the dream seem both affordable and achievable.

But for many the Baker reality is neither, an investigation by the Detroit Free Press and ProPublica found.

What the college’s ads don’t say is that less than one-quarter of its students graduate — far below the national average for private four-year schools, according to federal data. Baker has the third-lowest graduation rate among 26 private four-year schools in Michigan.

The ads also don’t point out that 70% of Baker students who took out federal student loans have problems making payments two years after leaving college. An exceptionally large number of former Baker students with loans have filed claims with the federal government that they were defrauded or misled by the college…”

See full story here.



Categories: Business, Economy, Education, Society

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