October 30, 2014
empty classroom

New gainful employment rule is weak, but predatory for-profit colleges remain on the ropes

The Obama Administration is releasing its “gainful employment” rule, aimed at curbing abuses by federally-funded career colleges, at 7 am Thursday.  I can’t fully evaluate the rule without seeing its details. But I have obtained a press release and fact sheet provided by the Administration to the media and also spoken to Administration and other sources, and I have this to report: UPDATE [Oct. 30 11:00 am]: I’ve read the rule, and my views remain the same]

1. The rule is far too weak to address the grave misconduct of predatory for-profit colleges.  The Administration missed an opportunity to issue …

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October 28, 2014

VIDEO: Leading Politicians Dodge and Deny Climate Change Threat During Midterm Elections

We took a look at the ways in which leading politicians answered simple questions about climate change during the midterms this year and compiled a video. As coal, oil and gas interests have appeared as the primary sponsors of Republican candidates this election cycle, Republic Report has watched as an increasing number of candidates this year have expressed doubt that pollution from their benefactors causes climate change. The influence of fossil fuel money is sure to have a policy impact as well. As we noted recently, climate change deniers will have the opportunity to seize control of key committee chairs if the GOP …

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October 27, 2014
hrc

2014 Campaign Shows Growing Public Disdain for Predatory For-Profit Colleges

In the 2o12 election campaign, when a reporter asked GOP candidate Mitt Romney what he planned to do about higher education and college affordability, Romney praised for-profit colleges, and particularly one school, Florida’s Full Sail University, for its ability to “hold down the cost of their education.” It was eventually exposed that: (1) Full Sail was perhaps the third most expensive college in America, (2) Full Sail’s owners were heavy contributors to the Romney campaign, and (3) Romney’s own private equity firm was actually invested in Full Sail.  But whatever Romney’s motives in singling out this sector, it was notable that …

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October 25, 2014
Sen. Mitch McConnell poses inside of a tank in 1985.
Sen. Mitch McConnell poses inside of a tank in 1985.

If GOP Takes Senate, Climate Change Deniers Will Control Key Committees

It wasn’t long ago that coal executives were openly discussing their dream of Republicans seizing the White House and making Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe — who believes climate change is a “hoax” concocted by greedy scientists — the head of the EPA.

Now, they have a second chance. As dark money groups and SuperPACs backed by millions of dollars from the fossil fuel industry are propelling Republicans to a Senate majority, climate science-denying politicians are likely to seize control of key committee chairmanships, a coup for companies seeking to pollute the atmosphere with impunity. What’s more, Inhofe is slated to become chair …

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October 22, 2014
obamaafford

As For-Profit Colleges Fight For Their Right to Abuse Students, It’s Obama’s Time To Decide

The Obama Administration is scheduled to issue, within the next few weeks, a regulation called the gainful employment rule, aimed at cutting off federal student aid to college-level career training programs that consistently leave their students drowning in debt. Lobbyists for the for-profit college industry are pressing the White House hard to weaken the rule or drop it altogether. It’s a critical moment for the public to take another close look at this industry, which now has 13 percent of all U.S. college students and swallows more than a quarter of federal aid — over $30 billion a year in taxpayer …

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October 2, 2014
amor

Photos: Lavish Lifestyle of Miami For-Profit College CEO Indicted Today For Stealing From Taxpayers

A federal grand jury has indicted the former owner-CEO and three other ex-staff of Miami-based FastTrain College, a for-profit school that had ties to Florida Members of Congress before the FBI raided its campuses in 2012.

The South Florida Business Journal reported late this afternoon that the former CEO, Alejandro Amor, 56, (pictured above), was arrested and appeared in federal court in Miami today, along with former admissions officers Jose W. Gonzalez, Michael Grubbs, and Anthony Mincey.  The 15-count indictment charged the four with theft of government funds, and each could face five years …Continue Reading »

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September 17, 2014
suzeorman

VIDEO: With Senator Warren Watching, Suze Orman Denies, Admits, Rationalizes Teaching at University of Phoenix

At an event in Washington DC this morning, speaking alongside Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), financial guru Suze Orman at first seemed to deny what is a documented fact: that she teaches a personal finance course at the nation’s biggest for-profit college, the University of Phoenix.  Then Orman admitted it, but offered a wholly unconvincing explanation.

The event, hosted by Politico and sponsored by Starbucks, addressed the issue of educational opportunity and student debt, issues on which Senator Warren has been a leader. Having read a tweet I sent yesterday, Politico reporter Allie Grasgreen asked Orman a highly relevant question:

Q: Suze, are …

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September 16, 2014
Richard Cordray

Consumer Protector Cordray: Corinthian Colleges Deceived And Bullied Students

For a couple of years now, I’ve argued that Corinthian Colleges might be the worst predator of all the big for-profit college companies, a remorseless giant engaged in endless abuses of students who needed career help, not more problems. But now that Corinthian, which was taking in as much as $1.4 billion a year in taxpayer dollars, is collapsing under the weight of law enforcement probes and bad student outcomes, I worry that a prolonged focus on Corinthian’s horrid acts might allow other terrible actors in the for-profit college industry to sneak out the back door.

Indeed, the rest of …

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