At Polaris, Hales’ alma mater, graduates of his medical assistance program earned about $ 2,000 less than those with just a high school diploma. Third Way’s analysis finds that there is no return on investment for that program at that institution.
Polaris leaders have seen the data. It surprised you. They went to local hospitals and pushed for higher wages.
“We’ve been quite frank about starting salaries and what an entry-level medical assistant should be paid,” said Karen Rayk, director of adult education at Polaris.
For many, the decision to enter this field centers on a desire to help others or to use the job as a stepping stone to other positions such as nursing, according to Amy Hrouda-Traum, who teaches in the Polaris health care program. She has never had anyone leave the show after discussions about possible salaries.
“A lot of students tell me it’s not about money,” he said. “It’s about being happy in a career for life, not just a job they don’t enjoy.”
That particular offering on Polaris has a net price of around $ 7,700. It is much more expensive elsewhere, including Fortis College. The for-profit institution has outposts in Cuyahoga Falls, Centerville, Cincinnati, and Westerville.
The net price of their medical assistance program is approximately $ 22,000, however, those who completed the program earned $ 1,300 less than those who only have a high school diploma.
“We’re just being honest with people about the industry and how much you can make as a general rule,” said Brian Parker, president of the Cuyahoga Falls campus. “And people choose to do that.”
Students know they are training for entry-level positions, he said, adding that the university’s website is clear in presenting relevant information, including its 56% graduation rate for first-time students. Parker said the university’s marketing efforts are run by its corporate arm.
The way universities speak is not decided by accident. Institutions across the country spent reported $ 730 million in advertising in 2017. It is especially pronounced in for-profit schools. The Brookings Institution reported finding that those places spent $ 400 on advertising for each student, far more than the $ 48 at private colleges and the $ 14 at public colleges.