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Education Sector, a think tank, has come up with a ratio to measure the burgeoning debt problems in higher education. It's called the debt to credential ratio, or the total amount of debt piled up by undergrads divided by the total number of degrees awarded. The average for the years 2006-2009 is $15,392. For-profit universities, however, average $43,383. San Diego's Bridgepoint Education's ratio is a staggering $140,000. The think tank notes that the graduation rate at Bridgepoint's Ashford University (which accounts for almost all its students) is a shocking 30%. Education Sector says that Bridgepoint's ratio may have swelled somewhat because the for-profit university recruited so many students during the period. The Education Sector's findings are consistent with those of others studying the for-profit sector: the company recruits rapidly, has an enormous dropout rate and lives almost entirely off federal grants and loans to students, few of whom graduate.

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Comments

SurfPuppy619 Aug. 6, 2011 @ 9:31 a.m.

I used Education Sector's research (from Erin Dillon), in some heavy student loan litigation, they are one good outfit.

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Don Bauder Aug. 6, 2011 @ 3:26 p.m.

Yes, I read some of Education Sector's research. It's solid. Best, Don Bauder

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Visduh Aug. 6, 2011 @ 7:21 p.m.

That $140,000 figure is abominably high. If a degree from Ashford would "get you into Heaven", that might (I stress the MIGHT) be worth it. I'm afraid that for too long, society has pushed the value of education as a means to get rich. For the preponderance of our population, a college degree isn't even close to any sort of guarantee of a high income and wealth beyond imagining. In fact, there are now indications that such educational accomplishments are actually counterproductive when looking at income.

Going deeply into debt to get a college degree, as in ANY college degree from anywhere at all, with the idea that it will lead to an endless good life is most foolish. There are just too many Ivy grads and grads from the rest of the nation who attended real universities who are lacking job opportunities. If your degree is from a third- or fourth-tier operation like Ashford you are sunk. Stick a fork in yourself. You're done.

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SurfPuppy619 Aug. 6, 2011 @ 11:20 p.m.

That $140,000 figure is abominably high. If a degree from Ashford would "get you into Heaven", that might (I stress the MIGHT) be worth it.

Three years at Harvard Law School is less.

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Don Bauder Aug. 7, 2011 @ 3:06 p.m.

Remember, the $140,000 is the total student debt divided by degrees. It's a ratio. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 Aug. 7, 2011 @ 10:38 p.m.

Remember, the $140,000 is the total student debt divided by degrees. It's a ratio.

So it includes the drop outs???

Whatever it includes the number is perposterous, they should be shut down, it is a scam, a fraud.

For every one degree-that is not really worth the paper it is printed on-they are putting 8 other people in debt for life, and more than likely everyone that graduates from the school because it is doubtful they will find employment that will cover the costs- a negetive ROI.

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Don Bauder Aug. 8, 2011 @ 7:31 a.m.

The huge number of Bridgepoint dropouts worsens the ratio because fewer degrees are granted. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 7, 2011 @ 3:04 p.m.

It appears that Ashford students have reached the same conclusion as you have. That's why the dropout rate is staggeringly high. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 9, 2011 @ 8:52 a.m.

The huge number of Bridgepoint dropouts indicates that the students agree with your diagnosis. Best, Don Bauder

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