McCaskill: A Lot of These For-profit Schools Ripping Students Off

By:  Callie Rainey

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Senator Claire McCaskill applauds the Department of Education's decision to bar a for-profit school system from enrolling new students who use federal financial aid.

"A lot of these for-profit schools are just ripping students off," said Sen. Claire McCaskill, (D) Missouri.

McCaskill said the department is 'sending a message' to ITT Education Services. She tells us that it's been a frustration for the government to see the majority of federal aid going to for-profit schools that are not producing job-ready graduates.

"Really what we're saying to this school is they're more worried about getting federal money than giving students a good education.

McCaskill said the problem with for-profit schools is they're more worried about getting federal money than giving students a good education.

"Pretty much all of their money was federal tax dollars that students were handing over to them and they were not getting the job done. They were not producing graduates, they were not producing job-ready graduates," McCaskill said.

She said now that ITT Education Services can't take new enrollments, she doesn't think the institute will survive.

"That's been the only thing they've existed on so if they can't take students with federal aid I have a hard time imagining that they're going to be able to gear it up and provide the education necessary," said McCaskill.

We went inside ITT Technical Institute to find out as much information as we could. A staff member inside wouldn't talk on camera but she did answer a few of our questions.

She told us the Springfield campus is still operating with no plans to shut its doors anytime soon. Also that it's in the best interest of the current students to graduate here. She said it hasn't accepted new students in a year so nothing is really changing for that campus.

McCaskill disagrees. She said her concern is ensuring the students currently enrolled can transition without disrupting their education.

"See if we can't help them transition to a place like Ozarks Technical Community College or places that are capable and ready to handle them and not just ripping them off and taking their federal aid," McCaskill said.

McCaskill said the government has been trying to instill standards with for-profits but it's difficult because it doesn't want to hurt schools that she said actually do train their students to be job-ready.