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College Inc. 1x53

In order to get America back to the top of world college graduation rankings by 2020, President Obama is pledging billions of dollars for higher education. Traditional universities and community colleges are vying for a share of this windfall, but the best-placed to exploit it are the country’s largest private, for-profit universities who claim that they are far more innovative and responsive to what employers want than traditional institutions. The online courses at the University of Phoenix, ITT Technical Schools, Corinthian Colleges, and DeVry University are the fastest-growing sector of American higher education. However, these for-profit universities face mounting criticism for their high-pressure enrollment tactics, poor academic record, and high tuition fees, and have been accused of driving students into crippling debt. Amid controversies surrounding private universities, FRONTLINE investigates the opaque world of for-profit education.