Study Finds a False Promise of Trade School Education for Low-Income Black Youth

ASAA new study by scholars at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and the University at Buffalo of the State University of New York System finds that Black students who enroll at for-profit trade schools with the hope they will receive quick training that will allow them to get a good job, often wind up more in debt and with fewer job prospects than their peers who enrolled at two-year or four-year nonprofit educational institutions.

Stefanie A. DeLuca, an associate professor of sociology at Johns Hopkins University and co-author of the study, stated that “the quick jump into for-profit schools really precludes other options that might be less costly and have a bigger return. These young people are vulnerable to the flashy ads for these schools and lured in by how quickly they could get jobs.”

Dr. DeLuca noted that “some of these students might have been better suited for a two-year community college, which is a lot less expensive, or some could have gone straight into a four-year program. This is about how young people in some of the most disadvantaged neighborhoods are trying to navigate the transition to a career with very little information.”

The study, “Why Wait Years to Become Something? Low-Income African American Youth and the Costly Career Search in For-Profit Trade Schools,” was published on the website of the journal Sociology of Education, a quarterly peer-reviewed journal of the American Sociological Association. It may be accessed here.


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  1. Edwin Sam says:

    Young low-income African Americans have a better chance in the job corps or the military, let alone a four/two year institution. For-profit institutions are sharks, not really out for the best interest of their students. The tuition at these diploma mill schools averages thirty-four thousand or more. What’s worse is that these for-profit corporations know students are likely to be eligible for loans and financial-aid.

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