Wednesday, March 17, 2010

On Co-optation

Co-optation: It's not just for administrators anymore...

In an incredibly strange twist of logic, the for-profit Kaplan University has created a new ad based on the co-opting the energy of the student movement... a movement which, despite its many internal ideological divisions, has been fighting by and large for public education:
Of course Kaplan University, which was created ten years ago with the purchase of an old correspondence school by the Stanley Kaplan test prep company, is obviously anything but “a student-led revolution” in higher ed.

By coincidence, in fact, yesterday’s New York Times featured a front-page article on how for-profit universities deliver “dubious benefits to students” by “exploit[ing] the recession as a lucrative recruiting device” and “harvesting growing federal student aid dollars, including Pell grants awarded to low-income students.”

(It took me about fifteen minutes of Googling and clicking to find Kaplan’s tuition rates, but it looks like they run about $16,000 per year. That’s $2,000 more than the national average for for-profit colleges, and $11,000 a year more than in-state tuition for full-time online enrollment in New York’s state university system.)

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