For-profit schools are under the microscope as the Department of Education sets the definition for “gainful employment.”
“This goes directly to the heart of their business model,” said Kevin Kinser, a professor and senior researcher for the Institute for Global Education Policy Studies at SUNY-Albany. For-profit schools — like Bryant and Stratton College in Syracuse and ITT Technical Institute in Liverpool — earn up to 90 percent of their revenue from student tuition, according to the federal Department of Education. To pay the tuition, many students borrow loans or get federal grants. And the government underwrites the loans so that the schools get paid even if the students default.