Where do colleges get their money?

Here's a cost chart put out with the help of the University of Phoenix, one of the largest for-profit higher-ed institutions in the country.

(To get a zoomed view, click on the image above or click here, and then click on the chart again on that new page.)

Its question, "Which of the three models do you think is the most sustainable?" implies to me that relying on tuition is a more stable business model.

What it doesn't take into account, it seems, is the fact that Phoenix gets 88 percent of its revenue from the feds in the form of student loans taken out to pay for tuition -- a structure that has drawn the scrutiny of the Department of Education.

As the man pushing such scrutiny, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) points out:

Ninety-eight percent of for-profit students take out student loans, compared with only 38% of community college students. For-profit students are eight times more likely to graduate with debt greater than $20,000.

For-profit colleges account for only 10% of students enrolled in higher education, but those students receive 23% of federal student loans and grants, and account for 44% of defaults.

So with that in mind, the qraphic is indeed quite interesting.

Am I missing anything here?

Before you keep reading ...

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