I recently found at from n+1’s article “Bad Education” that Good magazine’s education editor is sponsored by the for-profit institution University of Phoenix. A bizarre relationship - which is undoubtedly reflected in Good’s education content (and not just the fact that the education page is littered with ads from UP). Take for example this info graphic which is sponsored by UP. It “objectively” asks which model of higher education is more sustainable. The graphic ostensibly presents plain facts but fails to point out the vast differences between non-profits and for-profits graduation rates (for example, UP averages about an eighteen percent graduation rate). Nor does the graphic take into account the fact that students at for-profit institutions leave with two-to-three times the student debt as their non-profit counterparts. Lastly, there isn’t a single story in Good’s education system about the shady practices of for-profit universities. A cursory glance at the front page of, say, The Chronicle of Higher Education has numerous stories about the exploitative practices of for-profit universities. Maybe I’m being overly-critical but it seems to me that Good has a serious problem which fundamentally undermines its mission as a source for “conscious consumers.” Image via Good.
We’re big, BIG fans of GOOD, and we do appreciate their disclosure. But we’ve also reported about the hazards of for-profit colleges here and here and here and here (for starters), and this is an editorial/financial relationship that’s definitely worth asking about.