The Instigator
Pro (for)
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The Contender
Con (against)
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Student financial aid should not go to for-pofit colleges

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/8/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 301 times Debate No: 87866
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
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Resolved: "Student financial aid should not go to for-profit colleges."


1. Student financial aid: All grants, loans, and scholarships provided by the U.S. Gov't.

2. For-profit colleges: The definition should be self-evident.

This debate shall proceed as follows:

Round 1: Acceptance.
Round 2: Opening arguments.
Round 3: Rebuttals.
Round 4: Closing arguments.


1. Forfeiture constitutes concession and, thereby, loss of the debate.
2. Kritiks are strictly prohibited; arguments must be germane to the resolution.
3. All sources must be cited using the endnote format.

"... [Insert Text] ..." [1]

[1] "... [Insert Citation or URL] ..."

4. No more than three new arguments may be presented in a single round.
5. All arguments must be addressed.

With the rules established, I look forward to a hearty debate.

- Mr. Speaker


I'm glad to accept this debate.

Good luck to you Mr.Speaker!
Debate Round No. 1



Thanks to the Inquisitor for accepting this debate. Best of luck to you as well!

Before I begin, let me clarify a definition:
According to the United States Department of Education:

"Private schools are not affiliated with a government organization. They may be nonprofit colleges, such as those run by private foundations or religious denominations. Or, they may be for-profit businesses, such as many career, online, or technical schools." [1]

This debate focuses on whether private, for-profit colleges should receive student aid from the Federal Gov't.

Now, here are my arguments against the resolution:

1. For-profit colleges have a record of being fraudulent and/or misleading.

One report by the Government Accountability Office in 2010 found that:

"Undercover tests at 15 for-profit colleges found that 4 colleges encouraged fraudulent practices and that all 15 made deceptive or otherwise questionable statements to GAO's undercover applicants. Four undercover applicants were encouraged by college personnel to falsify their financial aid forms to qualify for federal aid--for example, one admissions representative told an applicant to fraudulently remove $250,000 in savings. Other college representatives exaggerated undercover applicants' potential salary after graduation and failed to provide clear information about the college's program duration, costs, or graduation rate despite federal regulations requiring them to do so." [2]

These explicit and implicit deceptions matter because, according to the same source:

"Enrollment in for-profit colleges has grown from about 365,000 students to almost 1.8 million in the last several years. These colleges offer degrees and certifications in programs ranging from business administration to cosmetology. In 2009, students at for-profit colleges received more than $4 billion in Pell Grants and more than $20 billion in federal loans provided by the Department of Education (Education). [3]

In general, this report highlights a disturbing trend among for-profit colleges to be dishonest. Since the colleges accept federal student aid under the condition of following certain regulatory practices, the failure to meet those requirements necessitates the removal of said aid.

2. For-profit colleges charge notoriously high tuitions.

Almost as if they were cows, for-profit colleges milk their students' bank accounts dry. Some charge upwards of 20,000 each year on top of student aid and student loans. [4] Political leaders, especially Democrats, tend to agree that for-profit colleges charge too much for what they actually deliver on. [5] This problem has persisted in recent years. [6]

Here's two more excellent sources on the matter: [7] [8]

3. For-profit colleges graduation rates are appallingly low.

For four-year for-profit colleges, their graduation rates are abysmal. Yet, their two-year counterparts tend to have better rates. [9] Either way, this is not an enterprise which the federal government should fund when their own public colleges and universities are struggling under increased student enrollment and crippling budget cuts. [10] [11]


There are better alternatives to the federal government funding overwhelmingly greedy, overpromising, and under-delivering for-profit colleges. One option would be to redirect the wasted money to subsidizing its own schools. Given my three arguments against the resolution, I wish Pro the very best of luck in defending the status quo.

I look forward to Pro's response.




This is my first debate on this site so I apologize in advance for not being accustomed to how these are usually done.

I would like to add that this debate will most likely be a short one from me (in other rounds) because of how busy I will be in the next week or two. (Also a lot of school work due soon myself)

I will now start my side of the debate.

1. Student financial aid is most definitely necessary and a very helpful tool for people less privileged or unable to pay college financial fees and should most definitely be available for anyone from any college, including for-profit colleges. Student financial aid is, in whole, for the students themselves. Student financial aid does help for-profit colleges but overall is necessary for the students as they are always priority in any educational facility.

Although for-profit colleges are definitely known to be expensive, (I won"t deny it) it is one-hundred percent the students choice (if not subject to religious/family rules etc.) of where they get their degree. Once decided that they want to receive a degree at a for-profit college it is up to them to pay the fees that apply for that degree. Student financial aid helps the students themselves to overcome their own, personal financial difficulties.

Here is a statement from a viable source.

"If you decide to take out a loan, you must already understand who is making the loan and the terms and conditions of the loan." [1]

Students that do choose to go a for-profit college are always aware of the risks of accepting to go to a "higher education educational facility" [2] including the costs and possible need of student financial aid in that process.

2. That for-profit colleges are more suitable for students.

"For-profit schools are often attractive to non-traditional students. With their myriad of online, night and weekend offerings, for-profits provide a lot of flexibility. Many for-profit colleges are also interested in serving minority, low-income and first-generation college students. Students are typically there to acquire a specific set of skills, not engage in less tangible activities such as personal growth and academic exploration." [3]

As my source stated "for-profits provide a lot of flexibility" [4] which is known as something all students want in their busy school life.

"Flexibility (in for profit colleges): Features like online classes and multiple campuses make for-profit schools more attractive to students with families and busy schedules." "Convenience (in for profit colleges): For-profit colleges make it as easy as possible to enrol for classes and qualify for loans" [4]

There"s countless amounts of good reasons to go to a for-profit college, and although the cost is undoubtedly higher than a non-for-profit college, which is a viable reason to get student financial aid, the overall body and structure of for-profit schools includes flexible ways to study and a ton more convenience in that.


Although there certainly is a price to pay, for-profit colleges offer flexible, convenient ways to study that can bend to a student"s wishes. Students that can"t afford to go to a for-profit college should most definitely be worthy of financial aid as there are only positives of them receiving financial aid. With the attractive flexibility and convenience of a for-profit college, where can a student go wrong as students are already made aware of the risks and it is ultimately up to them to decide how they path their own lives.

I look forward to round 3. :D




Debate Round No. 2



I congratulate Con (aka Inquisitor) for truly making an excellent speech. To be sure, Con's speech is above averaged compared to the debaters I've argued against in the past. I am honored to be a part of Con's first debate here on Hopefully, this is first of many debates for Con.

Likewise, I have many responsibilities to fulfill, so I will be succinct in my refutation.

Con provided two main arguments in defense of his/her position. I will counter them individually.

I. "Student financial aid is most definitely necessary...for people less privileged or unable to pay..."

The crux of Con's argument is that underprivileged students should receive federal student aid in order to afford going to the educational institution of their choice. Thus, Con argues, for-profit colleges should not be excluded.

Con, please correct me if I misrepresented you.

There are two problems with this argument:

1. Underprivileged students should be able to go wherever they want regardless of ability. The problem here is that it discourages prudence in favor of excess. That these student are able to go to even one college is itself a major improvement.

2. It ignores other gov't subsidized alternatives, like community college or vocational/trade school.

Additionally, I would go so far as to say that people who choose not to go to college are privileged. After all, they're not the ones who will exit school with an average of $25,000 in debt and, more often than not, a worthless liberal arts degree.

II. "[For-profit] colleges are more suitable for students."

The crux of Con's argument is flexibility. I am forced to agree. For-profit colleges are much more lenient than their counterparts. But why? That is where things start to get sinister.

I submit that for-profit colleges are more flexible than their counterparts precisely because it encourages their students to be financially inefficient and thereby maximize the college's profits. Let me elucidate this point.

Students who earn the least amount of college credit per semester with graduate the latest and will spend more money at school (because of having to attending more classes). However, student who earn the most amount of college credit per semester (including CLEP tests) will graduate the soonest and will likely spend the least amount of money at school.

This juxtaposition should be a self-evident truth.

Now, regarding flexibility, it makes sense that for-profit colleges would not be as strict as their counterparts because allowing students to graduate slower translates into more profit for the institution.

The United States should not allows this implicit exploitation. How? By removing financial aid from for-profit colleges and, thus, removing the incentive to be inefficient with one's college years.

Con's argument of flexibility actually supports my position.

Having refuted Con's arguments, I await Round 3.


Inquistitor forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


I am saddened that the Inquisitor forfeited Round 3. This means that - according to the established rules which Con assented to by accepting this debate - the debate is now over.

My arguments stand unchallenged. Furthermore, I deserve to win by default.

Thanks you.


I'm quite sorry for forfeit, I had my heart set on finishing this debate. Due to some unexpected circumstances i didn't have enough time to write my debate for round 3. Maybe one day we could do a rematch?


Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Inquistitor 7 months ago
That sounds great. Can't wait.
Posted by Mr.Speaker 7 months ago
I appreciate your explanation, Inquisitor. Yes, we will have to rematch - but on a different topic.
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