Between her two stints as an admissions officer in the for-profit college industry—once at a beauty school, another at ITT Technical Institute—Tressie McMillan Cottom served as part of the colleges’ teams of evangelists. In meetings and calls, she wooed prospective students with the promise of job security. After two years in the industry, McMillan Cotton quit, called up former students to encourage them to enroll in the local community college, and turned her attention to understanding the for-profit industry’s growth. She argues in her upcoming book, Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy, that it’s the colleges—not the students—that reap the benefits.
The New Press
The for-profit higher ed industry, with an