June 21, 2016
College+cash

Friends In High Places: Who Endorses America’s Troubled For-Profit Colleges?

 

 

Today Republic Report is releasing a brand-new investigative report: Friends In High Places: Who Endorses America’s Troubled For-Profit Colleges? 

Our report describes in detail the network of prominent Americans — lawyers, lobbyists, board members, university presidents, politicians, celebrities, and others — who continue to lend their credibility and talents to defending or promoting seven of America’s biggest for-profit college companies, amid growing indications, including law enforcement investigations, that these companies have engaged in predatory practices that harm students and taxpayers.

You can read and download the report here (pdf).  Or read it all below.

UPDATE …Continue Reading »

June 13, 2016
Steve-Gunderson-President-CEO-APSCU

For-Profit College Lobbyist Gives the Game Away

It is absolutely stunning that the for-profit colleges’ chief lobbyist, Steve Gunderson, told a reporter today that a new Obama Administration proposed rule — a rule that would finally give students and taxpayers some leverage to recover payments for abuses by predatory schools — “will crush career education.”

What does that say about the performance and intentions of the schools he represents? It says, I believe, that many of these schools have made a lot of their money, in reality, by deceiving, over-charging, and abusing students, and if they can no longer do that with …

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June 8, 2016
debtcollective

Why We Need A Strong Student Debt Relief Rule

The Obama Administration is on the verge of issuing a proposed rule that would create new procedures and standards for cancelling the federal student loan debt of people who were defrauded by their colleges. The rule would also create new standards for the Department of Education to require colleges to post escalating letters of credit based on concerns about their operations. And it would ban or limit the ability of a college receiving federal aid to force students to resolve claims in private, secret arbitrations, rather than in court.

There were several months of public negotiations on a rule

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June 5, 2016
rosen-shingle-creek

For-Profit College Industry, In Freefall, Convenes in Florida

Today, the troubled for-profit college industry’s troubled trade association, APSCU, begins its four-day annual convention, at the Rosen Shingle Creek resort in Orlando FL. Unlike past years, there is no big name keynote speaker, no George W. Bush, Jeb Bush, or Newt Gingrich, and no dance party with a semi-faux version of the Beach Boys or Kool and the Gang. The optics are more stripped down, and the mood, judging by the conference agenda, is more downbeat.

APSCU has waged a long campaign against efforts by the Obama Administration to hold its member schools accountable for waste, …

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May 31, 2016
Donald Graham

Kaplan’s Graham Lobbies White House Against Debt Relief for Defrauded Students

Donald Graham, who turned his family company from the fabled owners of the Washington Post newspaper into the purveyors of the predatory for-profit college Kaplan University, met twice late this month with senior White House officials. Graham’s aim, as documents he left behind and were posted by the Office of Management and Budget indicate: to derail the Department of Education’s plans for a new rule giving debt relief to students defrauded by their schools.

On May 25, according to OMB records, Graham, the head of his Kaplan division Andrew Rosen, and Kaplan lobbyist Rebecca Campoverde, met with some senior officials of …

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May 27, 2016
everest-college-you-can-do-it-large-1

New Law Firm Monitor for Zenith: Like the Old One, It Represented Corinthian

 

The U.S. Department of Education announced today it has “accepted” the law firm Squire Patton Boggs as the new “independent monitor” for Zenith Education Group. Zenith is a division of the non-profit debt collection company ECMC, which, with Department approval, last year took over many Everest College and WyoTech campuses of the now-defunct, notoriously predatory for-profit Corinthian Colleges.

The Department told the Associated Press today that it picked the firm from among seven candidates proposed by Zenith.

A partner at the firm, Clark Kent Ervin, is slated, according to the Department, to …

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May 25, 2016
Manchin

Veterans Groups Oppose Manchin Amendment Giving For-Profit Colleges Unfettered Access to Military Bases

Just as America’s veterans organization are coming together to demand better government protection against deceptive and abusive practices by for-profit colleges, Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) seems to want to move in the opposite direction, pushing an amendment that would require the Pentagon to allow any college approved for military tuition benefits to have unrestricted access to recruit on military bases.  Veterans and military groups, as well as other Senators, are now working to stop this Manchin amendment.

Senator Manchin’s amendment might please, among others, a for-profit college headquartered in his home state, American Public University System (APUS), which runs the …

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May 19, 2016
University-Of-Phoenix

University of Phoenix Won’t Force Students to Arbitrate Claims; Scope Unclear

The University of Phoenix just announced that it will no longer require students to agree when enrolling to give up their rights to pursue in court any disputes with the school. Many for-profit colleges have used such fine-print clauses to force any complaint into secret arbitration proceedings that tend to be stacked against students and keep school abuses from coming to light.

The Department of Education is currently considering issuing new regulations that would prohibit or limit the ability of colleges receiving federal aid from imposing such mandatory arbitration clauses. (I am working with our coalition of pro-student …

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