December 18, 2012

Sexy For-Profit College Ad Targets ex-Lehman Bros Employees

Many of America’s big for-profit colleges spend more on advertising and high-pressure recruiting than they do on educating students — a key reason why so many of their students drop out and end up with insurmountable debt. If you have a TV or a computer — and you do — then you are probably bombarded with ads for these colleges and training academies.

Today a friend who worked at the now-defunct investment bank Lehman Brothers noticed a particularly fine-crafted ad, stating “ATTN: Lehman Bros employees! Explore online degrees. Your tuition fees could be covered!”  Illustrating this proposition is a …

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December 13, 2012
ITT Tech is one of the for-profit colleges that may have manipulated data to artificially reduce the number of student loan defaults it reports to the U.S. government.

Senators Demand Probe of For-Profit College Circumvention of Student Loan Default Rules

Eight U.S. Senators today sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan calling on him to investigate tactics used by some major for-profit colleges to circumvent rules aimed at reducing student loan defaults.  A report issued in July by Senator Tom Harkin’s Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) committee documented that several big for-profit colleges were misleading and harassing students to convince them to place their loans in “forbearance” or “deferment” status so that the schools would not have to report their student loans as in default. Federal law takes away a school’s eligibility for student financial …

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November 27, 2012

For-Profit College Industry’s Phony Pitch to Obama: Now We’re BFFs!

The controversial for-profit college industry, threatened by the Obama’s Administration’s efforts to hold it accountable for a torrent of waste, fraud, and abuse at the expense of students and taxpayers, bet heavily on a Romney and GOP victory in 2012.  The industry, which gets $32 billion a year from taxpayers and whose biggest players get 86 percent of their revenues from federal funds, gave millions of that money to Republican candidates and Super PACs. This was on top of the tens of millions the industry has spent on lobbying, lawyering, and advertising to defeat the Obama reforms.

So, having bet …

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November 27, 2012

VIDEO: Rep. Shuler Said He Wouldn’t Become A Lobbyist; Now He Will

In July, then-Republic Report bloggers Lee Fang and Zaid Jilani taped an interview with Congressman Heath Shuler, Democrat of North Carolina. Shuler had announced he would retire from Congress at the end of the current session. Concerned about the revolving door culture and its corruption of our politics, our reporters asked Shuler whether he was planning to become a lobbyist after retiring. Shuler flatly told them no.

Yesterday, Duke Energy announced that it “has named Heath Shuler as senior vice president of federal affairs, effective Jan. 4, 2013…. Shuler will be based in Duke Energy’s Washington, D.C. office.” In other …

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November 15, 2012
Mitt Romney promised gifts worth billions of taxpayer dollars to for-profit colleges and banks.

Shocker: It Was Actually Romney Who Campaigned Bearing “Gifts”

Beneath the raw offensiveness of Mitt Romney’s statement to his donors that President Obama won by providing “gifts” to African-Americans, Latinos, and young people, is a layer of remarkable hypocrisy: It was actually Romney who was promising big giveaways of taxpayer money during the campaign. But instead of offering his gifts to actual people, Romney pledged to reward his favorite kinds of virtual people — corporations and banks.

I can offer two blatant examples, from the education field, where I do some work. Given Romney’s strong orientation toward crony capitalism — businesses that get rich off government programs — I’ll bet you …

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November 14, 2012
On the campaign trail, Mitt Romney praised overpriced for-profit colleges and promised to protect them from accountability. But he lost.

Without Romney To Shield Them, For-Profit Colleges Must Face Reality

Since last week’s election, the Fox News Channel has featured several corporate executives complaining about the results. But it’s likely that few are as upset as CEOs of the troubled for-profit college industry. This sector, which is deeply dependent on the federal government, bet heavily on a Republican victory.

Mitt Romney, who has a financial stake in the industry, went out of his way to praise for-profit colleges, and he pledged to undo Obama reforms aimed at holding these companies accountable for fraudulent practices and poor quality schools. Sparked by Romney’s apparent eagerness to let them off the …

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November 1, 2012
Todd Nelson, who has run both of America's two largest for-profit colleges, backs Mitt Romney.

Controversial For-Profit College Industry Using Your Tax Dollars To Support Romney Victory

Todd Nelson resigned as chief executive of Apollo Group, parent company of the University of Phoenix, in 2006, in the wake of two controversies that ended up in court.  In the first case, Apollo, the nation’s largest for-profit college business, paid $9.8 million in 2004 to settle a U.S. Department of Education complaint that it had engaged in systematic violations of rules regulating aggressive recruiting of students.  The second, less well known, was a case brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), several months after Nelson left, charging that for years the University of Phoenix had discriminated against  employees …

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October 31, 2012
Destroyed homes in Seaside, NJ, in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. © Greenpeace / Tim Aubry

In Sandy’s Wake: Top Romney Advisors Andrea Saul and Jim Talent Tied to Climate Change Denial

Greenpeace has posted these stark images of the destruction Sandy brought to the New Jersey shore. The devastation on the ground is heartbreaking, and Americans are grateful for the courage and determination of people responding to the crisis. At the same time, it’s imperative that we start asking why we have seen so much extreme weather lately — and what kind of leadership it will take to truly address the crisis.

In the wake of the disaster, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said, “There has been a series of extreme weather incidents. That is not a political statement. That is …

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