Private For-Profit Colleges and Online Lead Generation

This report summarizes how companies that specialize in recruiting students to enroll at for-profit colleges use online lead generation (or “lead gen”) and other targeting tools. Websites that look like news sites or even colleges themselves are actually (often deceptively) collecting information about you to sell your profile (a “lead”) to the highest-bidding for-profit school. Many lead generators specialize in targeting veterans, because the schools will pay a higher fee to obtain access not only to federal student loan funds but also to federal veterans’ benefits, as we explain below. Many of these schools are under investigation or have even been shut down by government agencies for fraudulent practices. At the end of the report, we offer consumer tips on what you can do to protect yourself.

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