When Michael Podrid enrolled at the Art Institute of Atlanta in 2005, he dreamed his degree in photographic imaging would land him a job with an advertising agency.
After graduating in 2010, the Dunwoody man has more than $60,000 in debt and hasn’t found a job using his photo skills, so he’s had to ask for help to repay his debt.
He’s happy with his education, he said, but disappointed that his school’s career services department hasn’t done more.
Protecting students from graduating with heavy debt and few job prospects is something the U.S. Department of Education hopes to change.
It recently released stricter “gainful employment” rules that would bar federal tuition funding to for-profit schools whose students graduate aren’t able to pay back hefty federal loans.
Georgia has several for-profit schools, also called career colleges, including DeVry University, Herzing University and Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Atlanta.
Students at for-profit institutions represent just 12 percent of all higher education students — but they account for 46 percent of all student loan dollars in default, according to the Department of Education.