This article from the Century Foundation is a must-read for all of us in nonprofit higher education. And really, it should be required reading for anyone – especially – adult learners considering going back to school to complete an undergraduate degree that was previously interrupted by life, or a working adult looking to earn a master’s degree to move up the ladder. The article discusses the value and draw of a nonprofit credential. It also discusses the recent partnership between a former for-profit – Ashford University (Zovio, Inc.) – and the University of Arizona Global Campus. Take a close look – and you will see the for-profit structure and business processes. Online degrees and their value differ greatly among nonprofit and for-profit colleges. Below is an excerpt. You can read the article in its entirety here.
“The existence of a private, nonprofit college model—free from both government control and the predatory impulses of profiteers—is a distinctly American institution. While colleges in the United States are commonly thought of as being divided into three categories—public, nonprofit, and for-profit, with each model being quite distinct in its structure, behavior, and outcomes—it is that middle category that sets the U.S. system apart. In the rest of the world, there are really just two types of colleges: those under government control,1 and those associated with a for-profit owner,2 even if labeled nonprofit.3 No other country has a multitude of independent, private, nonprofit colleges like those in the United States.”