I find it difficult to say whether such schools are a good or bad thing. On the one hand they spread higher education to a wide variety of people and they are every good at teaching people the skills they need to land jobs. On the other hand I am deeply suspicious of the profit motive. We have been shown again and again that the profit motive is destructive and horrid. That may be a moot point, however, as traditional universities are far more "profit-driven" and "corporate minded" then many would care to admit.
NPR explained the whole situation today. I post that discussion here:
On the whole I see some value to them. They offer a needed service. But my hope is that non-profit universities start to truly mean what they claim: that they stop letting the drive for cash dominate their thought and they begin to return to a broad emphasis on the humanities and liberal arts.
A Liberal arts education is designed to create well-rounded individuals who can learn to become good citizens, friends, parents, neighbors, and just plain good people. So let us turn over the money-making to these for profit schools, let them get people jobs. But let us use this to return the focus of non-profit schools to improve character and educating the whole person.