Bill Clinton earned another $1.6 million from for-profit education companies in 2015, according to the Clinton’s newly-released 2015 tax return. The figure means he was paid more than $23 million by such schools from 2010 through 2015.
According to the newly-released return, Clinton raked in $1.1 million from Laureate University for serving as the school’s honorary chancellor, a role he resigned from in April 2015 when wife Hillary Clinton launched her presidential run. That adds to a staggering $16.5 million he received from 2010-2014 in the same role.
On top of the Laureate money, Clinton also received $560,000 from Dubai-based GEMS Education, which operates dozens of K-12 schools around the world. That adds to $5.6 million Clinton received prior to 2015. Combined, then, Clinton has amassed more than $23 million just from for-profit schools in the past six years.
Overall, Clinton’s $1.6 million take from the two schools in 2015 represents over a quarter of his $6 million personal income that year.
Clinton’s incredibly lucrative deal with Laureate, despite holding what was ostensibly an honorary position, has raised eyebrows due to other controversies regarding the company. The company is one of the largest for-profit colleges in the world, operating dozens of campuses around the world as well as the fully online Walden University in the U.S. It has faced criticism for buying up existing schools, spending heavily on marketing and boosting enrollment at the expense of academics. In 2014, a campus in Chile lost its accreditation after regulators became concerned over crashing graduation rates.
Laureate is attempting to hold an initial public offering in the U.S., but that effort has been complicated by the hefty student loan debt owed by Walden students, the company’s own heavy debt burden, and recent corrections it had to make to its financial record-keeping.
Clinton’s connection to Laureate was also complicated by the fact a non-profit linked to the company received $1.9 million in grants from the Hillary-led State Department during Bill’s stint as honorary chairman. (RELATED: Does Hillary Think Every Online School Is For-Profit?)
Ironically, while the Clintons have benefited tremendously from their ties to for-profit schools, Hillary has vowed to go after the industry should she become president. Her higher education plan calls for cracking down on “law-breaking for-profits” and she has promised to bring “integrity” to online education, a field strongly associated with for-profit schools (though many non-profit schools have large online programs as well).
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