By Danielle Douglas-Gabriel - The Washington Post
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is mounting a campaign to strip the largest national accreditation agency of the power to act as the gatekeeper between colleges and billions of dollars in federal financial aid, accusing the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools of having a track record of lax oversight of for-profit colleges.
The nation’s second largest for-profit educator, Education Management Corporation – the operator of chains like Brown Mackie College, Argosy University and the Art Institutes – will stop enrolling students at most of its Brown Mackie locations while “teaching out” the students that remain.
UPDATE: A spokesperson for EDMC tells Consumerist that 22 Brown Mackie College campuses have ceased enrollment as of Friday, while four locations will continue taking new students.
In 2015 former Corinthian students launched the nation’s first-ever debt strike and started a campaign to demand debt cancellation for defrauded student loan borrowers. In the months since, thousands of people from multiple for-profit colleges flooded the Department of Education with debt disputes in an unprecedented collective effort to force the Department to acknowledge that its own ‘Defense to Repayment’ law requires them to cancel loans when students are defrauded.
For months, students have been waiting for a final ruling about how and when the Department will actually provide debt relief.
Today, after months of negotiations, the agency published a document that only partly answers those questions. It is a proposed rule, which means that it will be open for comments for 45 days (more on how you can comment soon!), and then, after responses to comments, will become the final rule. It will go into effect next year.
The staff of the U.S. Department of Education has just recommended that a controversial college accrediting body face what a Department official labeled “termination” — an end to recognition by the Department as an agency that accredits schools. The Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS), founded in 1912, has been under fire for a year as part of the fallout of the collapse of giant for-profit Corinthian Colleges, which was exposed for egregious deceptions of students and taxpayers.
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By Neil Swidey - The Boston Globe
IT’S ONE OF THE MOST enduring selling points for the value of higher education: The best route out of poverty is through the college quad. Spend four years in college, and all that book learning, mind opening, and network expanding will help even the lowest-income student jump up several rungs on the economic ladder. Nowhere is that message preached as often or with as much evident authority as in Massachusetts, the nation’s historic capital of private, nonprofit higher education, where the concentration of colleges in some areas is surpassed only by the number of Dunkin’ Donuts franchises.
The for-profit college industry may be unpopular with the Obama administration, but it still has many friends in high places. Celebrities like talk show host Ellen DeGeneres and politicians like Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., have ties to the increasingly controversial education system, according to a report out Tuesday by David Halperin, a lawyer and for-profit college critic based in Washington.
Education Department Proposes New Regulations to Protect Students and Taxpayers from Predatory Institutions
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The Department of Education today proposed regulations to further protect student borrowers and taxpayers against predatory practices by postsecondary institutions. The regulations clarify, simplify, and strengthen existing regulations that grant students loan forgiveness if they were defrauded or deceived by an institution. The proposed regulations would also hold financially risky institutions accountable for their behavior and ban schools’ use of legal clauses to sidestep accountability.
Students Must Demonstrate 'Undue Hardship' To Have Their Loans Forgiven — And It Could Be Causing A Bubble
Outstanding student loan debt in the United States reached a record US$1.35 trillion in March, up six percent from a year earlier.
About 10 million people who borrowed from the government's main student loan program - 43 percent - are currently behind or no longer making payments, with more than a third of them in default. Some students are especially at risk, such as those who attended for-profit institutions.