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Report: For-profit college grads perform as well as public university peers

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Students at for-profit colleges in Minnesota are as likely to be employed one year after graduation as students from two-year public colleges, according to a report from the state Office of Higher Education.

Students at for-profit colleges pay higher tuition and rack up more debt, but are less likely to default on their student loans. They also tend to have higher incomes than their public peers, which researchers could not explain, state analyst Tricia Grimes said.

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"Because nationally there's concern that low-income students are enrolling disproportionately at for-profit institutions," Grimes said.

But the boom times for for-profit schools in Minnesota have subsided. They haven't escaped the slump that their peers have suffered nationally, Grimes said.

"Enrollment is expected to remain flat in the next year at Minnesota for-profits, which is a contrast to what was occurring up through fall of 2009, when enrollments were increasing," she said.

National reports have questioned the quality of for-profit programs and their recruitment of low-income students.