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Eye on Augusta: Legislature Votes to Ban “Conversion Therapy,” Provide MaineCare Coverage for Abortions, Study the NECEC & More!

Thursday, May 16, 2019
Andy O’Brien | The Free Press

Last week, the Maine House voted on party lines to pass LD 103, which would direct the Department of Education to conduct a review of for-profit colleges and universities to determine whether adequate educational standards are being met. If the for-profit college is not meeting the standards, the state would be authorized to revoke the degree-granting authority of the college. For-profit colleges, like their nonprofit counterparts, would also be required to report various metrics including how much money is spent on instruction, graduation rates, loan status of graduates, employment status of graduates, and the design and implementation of student support services. 

A 2012 U.S. Senate investigation found that for-profit colleges depend on taxpayer dollars for nearly all of their revenues, yet they overspend on advertising and CEO salaries. A study authored by the Center for Responsible Lending and the Maine Center for Economic Policy found that the median debt level for graduates of a Maine for-profit college is more than $21,000 for a two-year program, compared to less than $11,000 for a community college graduate. It also found that just 44 percent of Mainers who borrow for for-profit college make the payments. However, Assistant House Republican Leader Trey Stewart (R-Presque Isle) said his caucus opposed LD 103 out of concerns that it would put “a greater level of regulation and burdens” on trade schools.