On every TV channel, commercials for schools like DeVry and the University of Phoenix blare promises of better-paying jobs. Every year over a million Americans respond to these sales pitches. All too often these students receive tens of thousands of dollars in debt and very little else. The Department of Education was expected last week to release new "gainful employment" regulations that would limit the ability of such for-profit colleges to charge exorbitant prices for illusory job gains. Now it seems that the Obama administration is wavering in the face of aggressive industry lobbying. For-profit education is big business in America, and big business means political clout.
Ads for private, for-profit colleges and trade schools like the University of Phoenix, ITT Tech and Corinthian Colleges, Inc., lure students by leading them to believe that after graduation, they will land well-paying jobs that will help them get to a solid middle-class life.
In 2002, an independent study on hormone replacement therapy was halted, because the drugs were strongly linked to an "increased risk for breast cancer, heart disease, stroke and blood clots" in women. The same year, the University of Wisconsin-Madison began offering an online course, "funded entirely by a $12 million grant from Wyeth Pharmaceuticals," that "promoted hormone therapy, touted its benefits and downplayed its risks." Wyeth makes two hormone therapy drugs, Prempro and Premarin.
Federally-funded TV ad promoting abstinence-only sex education.
The American Medical Students' Association (AMSA) graded 150 medical schools on their conflict-of-interest policies and the influence that drug companies have with faculty and students. Only seven of the schools surveyed received an "A"; 60 got a failing grade, for not having sufficient policies or for not participating in the survey. AMSA president Dr. Brian Hurley called strong conflict-of-interest policies "incredibly important to protect the educational experience." Dr.