22 September 2016

Department of Ed Takes Steps Against the For Scam Profit Colleges

The Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS), which has been a source for performance free accreditation for the for-profit colleges, has been debarred by the US Department of Education, which means that the schools that it accredits will not qualify for federal student loans:
The Education Department on Thursday moved to shut down the nation’s largest accreditor of for-profit colleges, which had stood watch as failing institutions like Corinthian Colleges and ITT Technical Institute teetered on a pileup of fraud investigations.

The Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools — known as A.C.I.C.S. — is one of a few dozen different organizations charged with maintaining standards and quality at the country’s more than 5,400 higher education institutions.

An accreditor’s seal of approval is a prerequisite for colleges’ enrollment of students receiving federal student loans and aid, a funding stream that is essential for the institutions’ survival.

A letter from the Education Department said that A.C.I.C.S. was out of compliance with regulations in 21 areas. While it acknowledged some progress, the letter stated that the group’s “track record does not inspire confidence that it can address all of the problems effectively.”


A.C.I.C.S. was responsible for approving roughly 240 institutions that received $4.7 billion in taxpayer money last year.

An estimated 600,000 students currently attending schools the council has accredited are in no immediate danger of losing their federal financial aid. Regardless of any appeal, those schools have 18 months to secure the approval of another accreditor — although they might have to meet more stringent standards.


As a group, the mostly for-profit colleges that A.C.I.C.S. has overseen have the lowest graduation rates in the country and among the highest rates of student loan defaults. The Education Department staff report found that it failed to verify job placements, identify institutions that were at risk and monitor educational quality.

The accrediting agency was also plagued with conflicts of interest. At least two-thirds of its commissioners worked as executives at for-profit colleges, including Corinthian and ITT, a ProPublica investigation discovered last year.


“Accrediting agencies are supposed to make sure students get a good education and ensure colleges aren’t cheating students while sucking down taxpayer money,” said Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, one of the sponsors. “But right now the accreditation system is broken.
Your mouth to God's ear, Senator Warren.

Interestingly enough, this is a single point of failure for the scam colleges, who are dependent on a captive accreditation process, so by effectively shutting down this agency, the Department of Education has effectively opened up a major can of whup ass on the whole corrupt industry.

Well done.


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