Occupy Tampa to celebrate anniversary by targeting for-profit university

By | 01.09.12 | 9:35 am

The Occupy Tampa logo (Pic via Facebook)

According to a new press release, protesters affiliated with Occupy Tampa will today celebrate the movement’s three-month anniversary by marching on Argosy University, “operated by Education Management Corporation in which Goldman Sachs is a principal investor.”

“Education Management, which is based in Pittsburgh and is 41 percent owned by Goldman Sachs, enrolls about 150,000 students in 105 schools operating under four names: Art Institute, Argosy University, Brown Mackie College and South University,” The New York Times reported in a story about a “multibillion-dollar fraud suit” brought by the Department of Justice against the company.

The Times reported that according to the DOJ’s complaint, “Education Management got $2.2 billion of federal financial aid in fiscal 2010, making up 89.3 percent of its net revenues.”

The Occupy Tampa press release highlights the high levels of government funds that go to the for-profit schools operated by Education Management:

For profit universities target the lower and middle classes and our military by offering a piece of the American dream. This dream comes with high tuition and student loans thus forcing graduates to enter an already saturated workplace with entry level pay and astounding student loan payments. Meanwhile the executives of these schools enjoy lavish salaries, bonuses and benefits.

Currently the House Oversight and Government Reform committee is investigating executive pay and bonuses for 13 for profit universities owned by Wall Street corporations. Education Management Corp was included in this request.

Currently more than 80% of tuition for for-profit universities comes from federal financial aid programs such as Stafford loans and Pell grants and a recent study has shown that only ⅓ of the funds goes to actual instruction. [Emphasis added.]

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