Media Contact:
Noah Black
noah.black@apscu.org


April 17, 2013: Original letter on The Boston Globe's website.

APSCU President Seeks a Larger Debate on Overall Higher Education System

YOUR STORY on private-sector colleges and universities failed to highlight the need for a larger conversation about the very nature of higher education ("A costly lesson," Business, May 15).

Private-sector colleges and universities provide students with access to career-focused education and in-demand skills training that they otherwise would not receive due to selective admissions policies and lack of available courses at public and private institutions. The vast majority of our students are nontraditional, meaning that they are over 25, have no financial support from parents, work full time or part time, or are single parents. As a result, 94 percent of our students are eligible for Title IV funding, compared to the 70 percent of students attending private institutions and 49 percent at public institutions.

We strongly agree that student loan debt needs to be addressed. We have proposed, as part of reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, a simpler and easier way to navigate the federal student aid system. This system would start by standardizing terms and delivery of aid, improving repayment options that ease financial burdens, and recognizing individual student circumstances.

We hope to find a way to work together with leaders in higher education to better serve all students. In the meantime, we continue to strive for new procedures that address accountability and transparency and focus on outcomes not just at our schools but in all of higher education.

Steve Gunderson
President and CEO
The Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities

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PSCUs open doors to many of the 13 million unemployed and 90 million undereducated Americans by providing a skills-based education. To remain competitive over the next decade, we must identify between 8 and 23 million new workers with postsecondary skills. PSCUs are a necessary part of that solution, having produced over 800,000 degrees last year alone.