Last year, the Department of Defense took a bold move against the for-profit colleges , placing the nation’s largest for-profit college on probation and putting tuition assistance for active-duty students at the school at risk. This gave the rest of the for-profit education industry notice that the DoD was not going to stand idly and let those institutions exploit veterans.
But Phoenix’s DoD probation only lasted three months. As a big company, it’s a special interest all its own, and has high-powered politicians like senators John McCain and Lamar Alexander in its corner. McCain, publicly praised DoD’s retreat, has been a particularly staunch defender of the for-profit education industry, defending even the notorious ITT Tech in the wake of its loss of federal education dollars. Perhaps his stalwart defense of these companies has something to do with the fact that he is Congress’ leading recipient of for-profit-college campaign contributions.