For-Profit Colleges Andrew Rosen Summary

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It is clear that Andrew Rosen, the chief executive of Kaplan, wants to leave readers of with the idea that for-profit colleges are innovative, efficient, and effective in serving people left out by traditional higher education, and that their bad reputation is the result of unfair attacks. I picked up Rosen 's book wanting to see how the power of the market can transform the enterprise and improve student learning. Instead, I am now more concerned about the hazards of for-profit colleges than I was before. The eye-opening, gasp-inducing elements involve Rosen 's descriptions of the intense pressures on company executives to produce quick, huge profits for investors by shortchanging students. "An investor who wants to make a…show more content…
What happens when it 's not executed well? I guess I 'm accustomed to more bullish claims from executives of for-profit colleges. I don 't recall any of them saying, "We face powerful short-term incentives to shortchange students, but if we can resist those and manage to implement our model well over the long term we might find that the incentives exist for more student learning." Perhaps I should find Rosen 's honesty refreshing, but it 's just scary that he doesn 't realize how bad his descriptions sound. To wit: "The vast majority of the players in for-profit education work very hard to avoid succumbing to these short-term temptations." The words "vast majority" seem horribly wrong in this context. Imagine that Mr. Rosen is on the podium speaking to a crowd of for-profit college leaders, and he says, "I 'm so proud that the vast majority of you are not crooks and cheats." Applause. And notice that they "work very hard to avoid succumbing." Personally, when I try to avoid succumbing to chocolate cake, I invariably end up eating the cake. ("Do or do not. There is no try." -Yoda) If Rosen thought that the vast majority of his fellow leaders actually succeeded in their resistance, it seems like he would say so. Instead, I 'm picturing them working hard to avoid succumbing, but
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