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Public Partners With For-Profit – Inside Higher Ed

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Arkansas State University is mulling over partnering with a for-profit company to start the state’s first vet school. Is this what the state, and its students, need?

Arkansas State University is exploring a partnership with a for-profit company to build a veterinary medicine school.
While it would be the first such school in the state, it’s unclear whether it’s necessary, and some question if partnering with a for-profit is a good move for a public institution.

“By arranging for the for-profit to operate on campus, the public university is lending its credibility to a for-profit college,” said Robert Shireman, director of higher education excellence and a senior fellow at the Century Foundation. “For-profit colleges have a sketchy reputation because of disproportionate consumer abuses.”

The company in question is Adtalem Global Education, the parent company of Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, and formerly known as DeVry Education Group. Ross University is a for-profit college based on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts. While it’s accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association, it’s been criticized for saddling graduates with large amounts of debt. The average debt for U.S. graduates of Ross and another veterinary school in the Caribbean is nearly $275,000, which is about $90,000 more than nonresident graduates for veterinary colleges based in the United States.

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