Since it debuted in 2003, millions of viewers have tuned into The Ellen DeGeneres Show to dance, laugh, connect with human-interest stories, listen to candid celebrity interviews, and watch stellar performances every weekday afternoon. Unfortunately, the show took a reckless turn on May 2nd, 2016 when this happened:
DeGeneres presented a $25,000 scholarship from the University of Phoenix to a stay-at-home mom with aspirations of becoming an ultrasound technician. Viewers can also apply on the Ellen Show’s website to win one of 10 full-tuition scholarships to the University of Phoenix.
We know Ellen likes to play games, but this is not funny. In fact, many students’ lives are ruined by for-profit colleges and universities (FPCUs) and this particular giveaway is a slap in their face. This type of partnering, marketing, and profiteering is standard on The Jerry Springer Show, which begs the question: is Ellen cheating on us?
In the spirit of Ellen, let’s play a true or false game called “Know Before You Owe,” which is designed to inform students about FPCUs before they fall through the debt-trap door:
- Many Apollo Group students leave the University of Phoenix without diplomas. (T/F)
- More than 1 in 4 students at the University of Phoenix default on their loans. (T/F)
- Apollo Group is not providing the highest quality education. (T/F)
- Tuition is higher at Apollo Group than at public colleges: hurting students and veterans. (T/F)
- Apollo Group has been the subject of numerous federal investigations. (T/F)
Giveaway: if you answered false on any of the above, you’ve fallen through the debt-trap door.
Students deserve the opportunity to rise and dream of a better life and society, but the combined national federal and private student loan debt has surpassed $1.3 trillion and the truth is more than 1 in 4 University of Phoenix students default on their loans. Let’s be kind and truthful to one another: there are better ways to kindle the flames.