Don’t miss out on our next NC Policy Watch Crucial Conversation luncheon:

For-profit colleges: A helpful solution or part of what ails higher education?

NCPW-CC-2015-09-29-Barmak-Nassirian-edit-400x270-webFeaturing Barmak Nassirian, Director of Federal Relations and Policy Analysis for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities

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The rapid growth of for-profit colleges is one of the most important phenomena to impact American higher education in decades. Spurred by pervasive advertising and recruiting, the spread of online learning and the challenges of the 21st century economy, more and more Americans are turning to for-profit schools in hopes of boosting their employment and income prospects. Some conservative think tanks even argue that for-profit colleges can and should supplant public and nonprofit schools as the chief vehicle for delivering higher education.

Unfortunately, for many students, for-profit colleges have failed to deliver. Indeed, for a sizable number of students, the experience has been similar to what one would expect from a high-cost, predatory lender: slick and deceptive ads, poor service and mountains of debt. As advocates at the North Carolina Justice Center’s Predatory For-Profit Schools Project explain here, the industry is rife with sketchy operators who take advantage of vulnerable consumers.

So, where do things currently stand and where are they going? What is the true nature of the for-profit college industry and what does it portend for public and nonprofit schools? What are federal law and policymakers doing about the issue?

Please join us as we explore these questions and others with Barmak Nassirian. Mr. Nassirian the Director of Federal Relations and Policy Analysis at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. In this role, he coordinates federal relations and legislative, regulatory, and public policy for AASCU. Nassirian is also a nationally known policy analyst and expert on federal student aid. He has worked for decades with an extensive network of contacts on both sides of the aisle on Capitol Hill, with the Obama Administration and within key federal agencies, as well as with the media and the broader national higher education community.

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When: Tuesday, September 29, at noon — Box lunches will be available at 11:45 a.m.

Where: Center for Community Leadership Training Room at the Junior League of Raleigh Building, 711 Hillsborough St. (At the corner of Hillsborough and St. Mary’s streets)

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Space is limited – preregistration required.

Cost: $10, admission includes a box lunch.

Click here to register

Questions?? Contact Rob Schofield at 919-861-2065 or


North Carolina’s public universities can’t keep turning to tuition revenues to fund need-based aid for lower-income students, a move could lessen how much aid is available for coming classes and lead some to take on more student loans.

The university system’s Board of Governors unanimously passed a four-year tuition proposal Friday that puts a 15 percent cap on how much tuition money schools can use for need-based aid to help lower-income students.

The need-based aid proposal also freezes the dollar amount that goes to need-based aid at five campuses that are at or exceed the 15 percent mark – Elizabeth City State University ($470,584), Fayetteville State University ($328,869), N.C. State University ($7.3 million)and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ($19.1 million) and Winston Salem-State University ($190,089). Read More