BUZZFEED: Bill Clinton Steps Down From World’s Largest For-Profit College Chain

Career College Central Summary:

  • Former President Bill Clinton has stepped down from his position as the honorary chancellor of Laureate Education, the world’s largest for-profit college chain, the company announced today. Laureate operates 84 for-profit schools across the globe, many of them in the developing world.
  • Laureate has largely been shielded from the public eye because it owns just a handful of schools in the United States and is not publicly traded. That may change soon: Bloomberg reported yesterday that the company was making moves toward an initial public offering that would value it at around $5 billion, more than twice the market capitalization of University of Phoenix owner Apollo. The company is backed by KKR and the financier George Soros.
  • Laureate said in a statement that Bill Clinton was stepping down because his five-year term was expiring. The company told Bloomberg that the timing was unrelated to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
  • In recent weeks, Hillary Clinton has been sharply critical of for-profit colleges, saying in a visit to an Iowa community college that some schools “take all this money and put all these young people and their families into debt.”
  • “We have to take on those interests that want to keep the system the way it is because it generates a lot of money and a lot of interest payments,” she said.
  • In the United States, Laureate schools significantly outperform others in the for-profit sector, with low default rates on loans that a Senate report called “the best of any company examined.” However, a prospective class-action lawsuit earlier this year against the company’s largest American school, Walden University, criticized the company for harming students in a pursuit of enrollment growth.

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