So, because I'm a bit of a loon, I thought it might be interesting/instructive to try to take an online creative writing class at Globe University--our for-profit "competitor" school here in Eau Claire. Who knows? Maybe I'd get an essay out of it, or a novel chapter. Turns out, a single, four-credit creative writing class costs $2000 (including about $160/worth of books, evidently). That's, like, a new Stratocaster! So, ain't gonna happen. It might be fun, though, to go in and take the test to see if I can skip the prerequisite (I wonder how many people pass the test). I asked if my prior professional writing experience counted, and they said no.
The funny part (okay, it's all funny) is that a 3-credit intro to creative writing course at UWEC would cost a little more than half that. Taught by me! Also, I looked up the guy that teaches their online CW classes. I'm sure he's a great guy. He's one of our alums! From 2003! He has a master's from UW-Madison in Linguistics, and hasn't actually published anything yet, as far as I can tell. But his class costs $1000 more than mine! And of course he gets paid a fraction of my salary, with no benefits. I don't know that for a fact, but I assume he makes roughly what our adjuncts make. And that, folks, is your for-profit higher education model at work.
Here's the dirty little secret about for-profit higher ed: without the federal student loan program, it wouldn't exist. There's no business model without taxpayers ultimately being on the hook. Can you say, "corporate welfare?" Sure you can.