The Dirty Secret of For-Profit College Recruitment
What is it, you may ask? The dirty secret of these for-profit colleges and how they
recruit fresh meat?
The golden rule is to get them in the door. And that’s as far as anyone in administration pays attention. Because after the check clears, nobody. gives. a. fuck.
I want to share some information about these for-profit corporations. I do need to disclose, though, that this ain’t straight from the horse’s mouth. I have several very close friends who work at this place, and I used to work at one just like it. So this is more of a postcard from some loved ones currently employed in corporate hell. And they have kindly consented to let me share their story here. As long as you are cool with that, let’s proceed.
This school is but one puny branch of a ginormous corporation. It’s the kind of place you might see advertised during daytime talk shows, in between other less sleazy commercials for avvocatos with guys inexplicably wearing cowboy hats and business suits, urging you to fall off a ladder and call their toll-free number. And, not surprisingly, the school has a department devoted to recruiting.
The recruiters have sleek offices with big mahogany tables and ergonomic chairs that they use to impress prospective students. Sometimes the people walk in themselves, maybe after watching Jerry Springer or reading a bus stop bench. But the recruiters have quotas to make, around 12 students a month, so sometimes they have to get creative.
On occasion, they go to the local train station (not the nicest area- you can buy a variety of drugs and sexual favors there) with a big van and try to pick up random people. You can imagine what kind of fucking shit they tell people to get into their creepy van. And when someone takes their candy, on the way to Mahogany Desk City, the recruiters point out local landmarks like the town pool and say that they are part of the campus.
On one occasion, they brought a man from the train station who was so poor that he had plastic bags duct taped to his feet instead of shoes.
I don’t have the words to express how wrong and fucking predatory I think this is.
How much does this make you want to weep for society?
The school also has another department you might not normally hear about..this one is for ‘student retention.’ So these people are employed to call students when they don’t show up or don’t do the work or fail, maybe because they were picked up at a fucking train station and sold a pack of lies from a recruiter, and too disenfranchised or naive to question these things. And then the conversation goes like:
Student Retention Person: So (insert name here), why did you fail the midterm/never show up? Would you like to come in and make an appointment so we can make a Student Success Plan (TM) and get you back on track?
Student: I can’t focus on school right now because of (insert horrible sob story here)
Student: Fuck you. (click)
What a fucking awful joke. The students this place attracts (or hunts, depending on your point of view) fall into (mostly) two categories. One, people who have some serious fucking shit going on in their lives- sick family members, job loss, foreclosures, medical bankruptcy, immigration issues. People that are probably not going to be best served by taking out enormous loans that they probably won’t be able to pay off. (Now I am certainly not saying that only those who can afford redonk fees should go to college, or that people with big big fucking problems can’t take on college- but this place and those like it prey on the disenfranchised, and the numbers show that most of the students at these predatory colleges with no real support networks for students drop out anyways) And then there’s type two- people who don’t really want to go to college in the first place. So Why Do They Go? The answer is, they don’t. They get talked into signing up by Alec Baldwin and then, as far as the school is concerned, it’s milk carton city.
Do they even put missing kids on milk cartons anymore?