A report recently released by the New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP), titled “Unequal Burden: Black Borrowers and the Student Loan Debt Crisis” points out some troubling statistics related to college completion, debt and income disparities among Black New Yorkers. While the report makes many valid and important points, it also portrays an inaccurate and misleading assessment of New York’s proprietary college sector in an effort to support their position.

Consider the following:

  • On-time Graduation Rates for Black Students: The proprietary (for-profit) sector has the highest on-time Bachelor degree graduation rate for Black, Non-Hispanic students when compared to SUNY, CUNY, and the non-profit sector. When comparing Bachelor degree on-time graduation rates for Black, Non-Hispanic students, the NY proprietary sector has a 49% graduation rate compared to 17.6% for CUNY; 40% non-profit sector; and 47.5% SUNY. Data source:  NYS Education Department, 2018 datahttps://apc-colleges.org/proprietary-college-education/impact
  • College Affordability: In the 2017/2018 academic year, average tuition at APC member institutions increased less than 2 percent and our member colleges provided more than $95 million in institutional aid to their students.
  • Keeping student loan debt low: According to recently released College Scorecard data, students graduating from APC member colleges accumulate an average of just $22,357 in student loan debt. This is significantly lower than the average student loan debt of New York residents of $30,931 and the national average of $28,650.
  • Cohort Default Rates: The U.S. Department of Education recently released the 2015 three-year Cohort Default Rates (CDR). Recent studies show that student loan borrowers who struggle the most to repay their loans are often non-completers. In fact, student borrowers who do not complete a degree default on their student loans at a rate of almost three times higher than borrowers who earned a degree. The average default rate for APC member colleges is 10.89 percent. This is considerably lower than the national average for the proprietary sector of 15.6% in FY 2015 and in line with U.S. averages for all sectors at 10.8%.

Monroe College, an APC member located in the poorest congressional district in the country, was noted in the report as one of the top five colleges in New York City for educating Black students (as a percentage of enrollment). Also cited for its for positive degree completion rates, Monroe has a strong and proud history of improving college access, affordability, and attainment for students often under-represented and underserved elsewhere across higher education. The College is routinely recognized for its success educating and graduating minority and low-income students.  

The Association of Proprietary Colleges (APC) represents twelve degree-granting colleges in New York State. APC member colleges are committed to their students’ success by offering a high quality, affordable education. Visit the APC website (https://apc-colleges.org/proprietary-college-education/impact) to learn more and get the facts about New York’s degree-granting proprietary sector.