February 5, 2016
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ITT Tech, Settling Shareholder Suits, Pledges Reforms

Last week, troubled for-profit college company ITT Tech settled a series of lawsuits brought by shareholders that charged ITT with various securities law violations.  Under the agreement, approved preliminarily by Manhattan federal judge J. Paul Oetken on Jan. 29 but still subject to objections by investors, ITT will pay lawyers for the plaintiffs $1.1 million and commit to a series of “corporate governance reforms,” including ITT commitments that:

Two-thirds of the ITT board of directors will be independent.
Bonuses and separation agreements will take into account executives’ compliance with the law.
ITT will publicly disclose its insider trading policy.
ITT will adopt a “Clawback and …Continue Reading »

February 1, 2016
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Military-Branded Websites Push Veterans to Troubled For-Profit Colleges

In a well-publicized 2012 action, the attorneys general of 20 U.S. states stopped a company called QuinStreet from using a military-branded website, GIBill.com, to steer American veterans to controversial for-profit colleges. But it turns out that marketers, including QuinStreet itself, have continued to engage in similar practices since then.

Websites such as Military.com and GIJobs.com still push vets and military service members to schools including ITT Tech, Kaplan, and Education Management Corp.’s (EDMC) Art Institutes — institutions that often charge students sky-high prices, spend too little on instruction, and leave dropouts and graduates alike without the careers they sought and buried …

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January 27, 2016
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Federal Trade Commission Sues For-Profit DeVry For Deceiving Students

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission today filed a lawsuit against one of the largest for-profit colleges, DeVry University, for allegedly misleading students about job placement rates and salaries for the school’s graduates.  The FTC complaint, filed in federal court in Los Angeles, alleges, “Through the use of English and Spanish-language advertisements and other marketing materials, and during sales pitches with prospective students [DeVry has] made deceptive representations about the benefits of obtaining a degree.”

DeVry last year received $1.47 billion in taxpayer dollars from federal student grants and loans.

The complaint focuses on claims that DeVry repeatedly made in its TV, …

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January 26, 2016
USEACEOs

Energy Lobbyists Gather, Blame Obama and the Pope

Last week, on the day after the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that 2015 was by far the hottest year on record, the energy industry’s chief lobbyists gathered in a downtown Washington ballroom to tell each other that the real problem was not global warming, but rather efforts by the Obama Administration — and Pope Francis — to contain global warming.

The remarks of these lobbyists suggested that many of them live on a different planet, where climate change is not an urgent challenge but rather is the obsession of ideological malcontents.

The meeting, held annually, is sponsored by the United States Energy Association, …

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January 21, 2016
ITTbldg

Blockbuster Lawsuit Claims Abusive Practices Persist at ITT Tech

A federal whistleblower lawsuit against troubled ITT Tech, unsealed last week, reads like a greatest hits of abuses by America’s predatory for-profit colleges.  The suit alleges that ITT has repeatedly defrauded taxpayers by taking billions of dollars in federal student aid while systematically deceiving students and violating federal regulations.

The complaint, first described today by MarketWatch, was filed last April in federal court in Tallahassee, Florida, by Rodney Lipscomb, who served as the dean of academic affairs at ITT’s Tallahassee campus from 2011 until early 2015. The case was unsealed on January 15 after the U.S. Justice Department declined to join …

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January 14, 2016
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Huge Powerball Jackpot Is Less Than Taxpayers Give Yearly To Controversial For-Profit Colleges

The unprecedented Powerball jackpot is supposed to bestow extraordinary riches upon the long-awaited winners. But did you know that each of the three winners will receive less over a 29-year payout than ten U.S. for-profit college companies receive from your tax dollars every single year?  Worse, seven of those ten colleges have been under investigation in recent years by federal and state law enforcement agencies for deceiving their students, lying to government regulators, and other abuses.

The Powerball jackpot will be divided among three winning tickets bought in Tennessee, California and Florida, and each ticket is worth $528.8 million, paid out in installments until …

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January 13, 2016
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Rohit Chopra Joins Department of Education

Rohit Chopra, whose principled and determined leadership helped make the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau a strong force in addressing the abuses of predatory for-profit colleges, has joined the U.S. Department of Education as a senior adviser. Chopra is working directly for Under Secretary Ted Mitchell, focusing on protections for students, analysis of financial capacity and integrity of schools, education benefits for military service members, and openness of Department data, according to Department staff.

Chopra served at the CFPB as assistant director and more recently was a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress.

This article also appears on Huffington Post.

 

 

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January 12, 2016
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CEO of Troubled For-Profit ITT Tech Not Quitting After All

With Donald Graham yielding to his son-in-law the CEO spot at his company, which owns for-profit Kaplan University, and with and the University of Phoenix this week putting itself up for sale, perhaps to private equity investors closely tied to President Obama (see below), where is the stability in the leadership of America’s large predatory for-profit colleges?

On that score, there’s news. You can decide whether the news is good.

On New Year’s Eve, as you were preparing to celebrate with loved ones — and not looking at news — lawyers for for-profit ITT Tech were filing papers with the …

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